Up for grabs

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:15 AM ET

The flight plan is direct for Darnell McDonald.

Catch the plane today for Vancouver, fly through crisp routes, snag a few passes in the exhibition contest, then grab a roster spot with the Calgary Stampeders. But it might not be all that simple for the veteran receiver tonight against the B.C. Lions (8:30 p.m., QR77).

His performance alone may not determine whether he is handed his walking papers.

With the starting jobs all but locked up by Jeremaine Copeland, Nik Lewis, Elijah Thurmon and Ken-Yon Rambo, McDonald is fighting for a reserve spot with Anthony Bright, Scotty Anderson and Beau Gibbs.

Any one of the four could emerge with a good game against the Lions.

"I don't think I've lost a step but I feel like a rookie right now because I have to prove I haven't lost that step," McDonald said.

"I know I'm on the chopping block because you never know what will happen in this league. It's good because I have to make something happen. It's a little pressure on me and I like it."

Training camp has been ultra-competitive because few positions are available. So when a receiver drops an easy pass, he often screams and slams his hands on the turf.

The situation has happened to Bright more than he would have liked.

"I wouldn't say it hurts my situation. We're all human and you will drop one or two once in a while," said Bright, who, like Anderson, comes to the CFL with NFL experience. "But I've trained myself to say I will catch everything."

Copeland and Lewis won't make the trip to B.C., which should create more opportunities for the other receivers.

It would seem McDonald has the least to prove. He was a 1,000-yard receiver in 2003 with the Stamps before battling through injuries for the better part of the past two seasons in Montreal and Winnipeg.

The 30-year-old wants to show he's capable of being a reliable and healthy player.

"I can't complain too much if Scotty or Anthony take the spot over me," McDonald said. "If something like that happens, hopefully somebody else will give me a chance."


Videos

Photos