Darnell down 'n' out of here

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:29 AM ET

The Calgary Stampeders are so deep at receiver this season, a former 1,000-yard man couldn't crack the roster.

Darnell McDonald was released yesterday after a lacklustre pre-season game in B.C. Friday and an average training camp overall.

"It's very tough," said Stamps head coach Tom Higgins. "In our discussion, it was more about selecting a team that has a common goal. He didn't fit in. It was something we tried. We gave him a chance but it didn't work."

McDonald led the Stamps in receiving yardage in 2003 before suffering a knee injury in training camp the following season. The import was released by the Stamps and played with Montreal and Winnipeg in 2004-05.

The Stamps' receiving corps already includes perennial 1,000-yard players Nik Lewis and Jeremaine Copeland, as well as all-star free-agent signing Elijah Thurmon and returnee Ken-Yon Rambo.

McDonald was battling for one of the backup positions with CFL veterans Markus Howell and Brett Ralph, along with free-agent newcomers Scotty Anderson, Anthony Bright and Beau Gibbs.

McDonald called his release a "huge disappointment ... I feel I failed."

EXTRA POINTS: The Stampeders' first-team offence will play up to three quarters in the final exhibition tuneup against B.C. Thursday night at McMahon, meaning receivers Nik Lewis and Jeremaine Copeland will be back in the lineup ... The Stamps also released LB Donnie McCleskey and DBs A.K. Keyes and Herb Cash yesterday, bringing the number of players in the secondary down to 11 ... A total of 59 players remain in camp.


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