The constantly upbeat Tony Stallings was still smiling yesterday, even in the face of bad news.
The second-year Calgary Stampeders running back had just been released, his pro football career now stuffed into a green garbage bag slung over his shoulder.
Adding to the shock, his wife, Levette, and daughter Christian, 4, had flown into Calgary from Louisville, Ky., Thursday night.
Yesterday was their fifth wedding anniversary.
"Trying to stop things you can't control is like trying to stop it from raining," Stallings said.
The Stamps will keep three import backs: Starting tailback Joffrey Reynolds along with backups David Allen and rookie Wes Cates.
Stallings plans to secure a workout with another CFL team. "Hopefully, one day, I'll be playing against (the Stamps)," he said.
Offensive co-ordinator Steve Buratto said Stallings had been guilty of a "plethora of blocking mistakes."
Canadian o-lineman Kyler Jukes, drafted in the fourth round last year, was also released.
Higgins said other releases will be announced today, the CFL deadline for naming a 42-man roster (20 non-imports, 19 imports), four-man reserve and seven-player practice squad.
MINOR HURTS: Two key players suffered minor injuries in Thursday's pre-season loss to B.C.: Import DE Rahim Abdullah (knee sprain) and import WR Scotty Anderson (knee contusion).
SO-SO NIGHT FROM RICKY: More production from running back Ricky Williams didn't result in a victory last night for the Toronto Argonauts.
Williams rushed for 46 yards on 11 carries but his fumble set up a touchdown as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats defeated Toronto 21-11 in the final CFL exhibition game for both clubs.
Williams started and played three quarters before giving way to John Avery.
Williams' longest run was for eight yards in the third quarter.