Ralph in for third and longshot

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:46 PM ET

HAMILTON -- Now playing quarterback for the Calgary Stampeders ... No. 11, Brett Ralph.

It could happen tonight when the Stamps invade Ivor Wynne Stadium to face the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (5 p.m., TSN).

The scenario would be disastrous for a team that just lost Henry Burris to a left thumb injury. If Ralph, a rookie Canadian wide receiver, were to get behind centre, it would have meant both starter Jason Gesser and backup Danny Wimprine have been hurt.

Head coach Tom Higgins has already thought about an emergency replacement, however unlikely it would be.

"We had a lot of guys step up and offer but Ralph would be our guy," said Higgins.

Because Burris didn't have surgery until Tuesday, GM Jim Barker didn't have time to find another pivot to be in the third slot.

Josh Harris arrived yesterday in Hamilton and is listed at No. 3 on the depth chart but won't dress because he doesn't have equipment. He has yet to spend any time at McMahon Stadium to get fitted.

So Ralph is the emergency man because he was a QB in high school and ran the scout team for the University of Alberta last season when he red-shirted there.

"Josh is listed as our third quarterback but he won't dress," Higgins said. "We don't even have shoulder pads that would fit him.

"If the worst happened, we could throw some offensive lineman pads on him. But it would be unfair to do that to a guy who hasn't even had a practice snap yet."

Decades ago, there were only two QBs dressed on all teams, so the situation isn't all that dire. Chances are Wimprine won't even get into the game.

But there's always a possibility.

"Jason gets the start and we hope he's the guy that finishes," Higgins said.


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