Receivers playing catchup

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:33 AM ET

The Calgary Stampeders receiving corps came charging back from sick bay yesterday, with five of the team's six wounded pass-catchers returning to action.

Only non-import Andrew Ginther remained sidelined while imports Jeremaine Copeland, Nik Lewis, Elijah Thurmon and Darnell McDonald, along with Canadian Brett Ralph, were back to running routes. Each had suffered an assortment of strains over the first four days of training camp.

Newcomers Scotty Anderson and Anthony Bright sat out the afternoon session as a precaution.

"It makes the flow of practice a little bit better," receivers coach Bill Diedrick said of his nearly full complement of receivers.

"They need to get back on the field just from where we're at with the installation of our offence. Day 5 and we're already complete with all of our installations and now it has to become more of just a review for them.

"Their competitive nature and enthusiasm is there and there's still a lot of battles going on with guys competing for one or two spots. There's not that many givens and you're always trying to make yourselves better."

Copeland is still hampered by a tender hamstring but has shown the staff the benefits of an off-season training program that has helped him gain a step on defenders.

"He put a lot of time into winter conditioning and I think it's paid off for him," Diedrick said.

"He looks a little bit leaner, faster and has a bounce in his step that maybe I didn't see last year."

ALL CLEAR: Stampeders quarterback Henry Burris is wearing new tinted contact lenses to reduce glare, similar to the coloured visors some players use.

"I can see everything much clearer," Burris said. "They're sweet, a great invention. That's the type of technology you have to take advantage of."

Burris is near-sighted and the contacts give his eyes a freaky red glow.

"They're orange lenses and I have brown eyes, which makes my eyes look red. For me it gives everything a yellow tinge, kind of like a florescent yellow."

PLAYIN' PICKUP: Practice tomorrow turns into an intrasquad game, following the opening session at 8 a.m. The game will start at 10 a.m. Both sessions are open to the public.


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