Stampeders ship Cates back to Regina

IAN BUSBY

, Last Updated: 9:17 AM ET

Wes Cates stepped off a plane from Regina to immediately find out he needed to catch one back.

Because of injuries to the offensive line, the Calgary Stampeders traded the running back to the Saskatchewan Roughriders yesterday for veteran Rob Lazeo.

"Obviously, they felt they could part with me," said Cates while he was leaving McMahon Stadium. "I don't know how to put it. They didn't see the neccessity to keep me or that they needed other players more than me. I'm going to look at it in the best possible light, though."

The Stamps, who lost the pre-season finale 23-21 Friday in Regina, will be without backup guard Derek Armstrong for up to two months after Armstrong broke his fibula.

With starting right guard Bobby Singh still battling a shoulder injury, centre John Comiskey just returning from an ankle problem and tackle Tyler Lynem recovering from torn thumb ligaments, the Stamps felt they needed some depth.

Lazeo fits the bill as a 10-year veteran who has previously played centre and guard.

"We got real thin quickly with those guys out and Tyler in a playing cast," said Higgins. "By having our centre and right guard not there, it hurts us. Godfrey Ellis is a much better guard than a centre but we didn't have another one with Comiskey being out.

"With Armstrong busting that leg, we were scouring for the possibility of Canadian offensive linemen."

With Cates gone, the backup job to Joffrey Reynolds now goes to Canadian Jon Cornish and import Ken Simonton. But the Stamps won't have to wait long to find out if trading Cates is a mistake.

If Cates gets into action, he will face the Stamps in Saskatchewan's home-opener July 8. He had a hard time picturing himself in their lineup yesterday because he was so fresh off losing to them.

"They played a heck of a game last night," Cates said. "From what they showed, they have as good a team as any.

"I think Saskatchewan is a good organization and they have a lot of good athletes. If they want me, it should be a good fit for me."

The Roughriders also have Henri Childs and Shermar Bracey on their depth chart.


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