Week off helps mend bumps and bruises

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:15 AM ET

At first look upon the CFL schedule this spring, Tom Higgins wasn't all that impressed by having no opponent in Week 20.

In hindsight, a final-week bye did a world of good for the Calgary Stampeders, who suffered a late-season spate of injuries.

Nose tackle Sheldon Napastuk (knee), linebackers Cornelius Anthony (ankle) and John Grace (calf) and safety Trey Young (ankle) all returned to practice yesterday and are expected to play in the West semifinal.

Napastuk missed the final two games of the season and caused some ratio difficulties, while Robert Rodriguez filled in at middle linebacker where Grace or Anthony would have lined up.

"You never want a bye at the end of the year because you don't know how you will finish up," Higgins said.

"We were fortunate all year with injuries until the end of the year. The bye came at good time. We're as healthy as you can be at this time of year."

Offensive lineman Taylor Robertson (ankle) and Godfrey Ellis (ankle) were spectators yesterday but said they will resume practising tomorrow after the team takes today off.

Fullback Gilles Lezi also was a spectator and looks doubtful for the game against Saskatchewan.

To add some depth, the Stamps have brought in import running back Zack Abron, a Missouri product who spent time with the NFL's Chicago Bears and in NFL Europe.


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