Hank frank

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:23 PM ET

Henry Burris is sporting a light cast on his left thumb but remains confident torn ligaments won't affect his performance the rest of the CFL season.

The Stamps starting quarterback slipped on the greasy Commonwealth Stadium turf while avoiding the pass rush in Friday's 16-11 win over the Eskimos, damaging the hand. He hopes he can delay surgery until the end of the year.

"Eventually, I'll have to get something done but hopefully that can wait until after the season," Burris said.

"It feels good enough to go out there and play with, I'll just have to make some adjustments with my throwing motion. Even though it's the front arm, it's the balance arm for the way I throw.

"Everybody was slipping all over the turf and that was just one of those things where I was trying to get away from the guy with a stiff arm. I was trying to take off to get to the first down marker but when I slipped, I put my hand down and felt something weird. I thought I'd popped it out but after the play I realized it was more than just a dislocation."

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HELD IN CHECK: The Stampeders special teams held dangerous Eskimos returner Tony Tompkins to minus-10 yards on four punt returns and a respectable 40 yards on a pair of kickoffs.

Head coach Tom Higgins was impressed with the play of his squad on the coverage.

"I believe our coverage teams rank up there with some of the best coverage teams in the CFL, if we're not the best," Higgins said.

"This team flies. There's talented people but I believe it's because of the people on defence that we have who can run.

"We also have people like MarTay Jenkins who steps up and is a force to be reckoned with. He is just all over the place and he was our special teams player of the game. He didn't have a lot of tackles -- one tackle. But he was so disruptive on his returns that, by the end of the game, they had Singor Mobley tackle him and make sure that he didn't get down the field. That's a compliment. Any time you do something like that, you know you're getting under their skin."

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DEEP TROUBLE: Eskimos running back Ron McClendon led the team with nine receptions Friday night, not a great sign for a team that likes throwing the ball deep.

McClendon had 49 yards receiving while used as a release valve for QB Ricky Ray, consistently pressured by the Stampeders pass rush led by the likes of linebacker John Grace.

"We're playing good football, not letting guys break tackles and make long gains, things like that," said Grace.

"We still have room for improvement. I made a lot of little technical errors, not being in the right spots, but Ricky Ray held the ball a lot. It was good coverage and the running back bailed him out of a lot of sacks. He could dump the ball off to him and make plays.

"It's satisfying in that we know we're a good football team and Ricky's a great quarterback with great receivers and that makes them a formidable offence.

"It sets the bar for us in that we think if we can play that well against one of the best offences, we need to go out and compete like that against everybody."

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POINTS AFTER: The Stampeders are expected take a look this week at wide receiver Ziehl Kavanaght, a 5-ft. 11-in., 180-lb. Michigan State product ... Halfbacks Joey Boese and Anthony Malbrough, hampered by hamstring injuries, are expected to return for the next game Saturday in Hamilton.


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