Maxie answers the call

Demetrious Maxie is back for another tour of duty on the defence of the Calgary Stampeders. (Sun...

Demetrious Maxie is back for another tour of duty on the defence of the Calgary Stampeders. (Sun Media/Darren Makowichuk)

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:52 AM ET

Walking off the practice field exhausted and soaked from sweat, Demetrious Maxie broke into a smile like he had just won the lottery.

In a way, he did.

Because of two injuries to defensive lineman Saturday in Edmonton, the Calgary Stampeders brought Maxie off the road from job scouting and out of retirement.

"I love the game," said a beaming Maxie, back in his old No. 91 practice jersey.

"I got in this business to play, and I will play as long as I can or as long as somebody wants me. This is a chance to have some more fun."

Maxie was in Chicago attending the NFL Bears' practice Saturday when the Stamps lost both Keron Williams (groin) and Anthony Gargiulo (ankle) to injuries on the turf against the host Edmonton Eskimos at Commonwealth Stadium.

Stamps president Ted Hellard quickly called Maxie, and he hopped on a plane yesterday. He dove into learning the differences in the playbook from last season, when he had five sacks for the Stamps.

Although he was enjoying his job as a Stampeders scout under general manager Jim Barker, there was no hesitation on ending the retirement, whether it's for two weeks or the rest of the season.

He doesn't even have security of knowing his scouting job will still be there when he's done -- he can't do both right now. Truthfully, the Stamps will send him back on the road once the injured players return.

"I really don't care," said the CFL vet, whose first year was with Baltimore in 1995. "I'm just focused on playing for the time being. You are never physically as ready as you want to be to play football. I've been working out hard, but it's nothing like being on the field and getting some work in.

"In my mind, I'm always ready. I love the game, so that's why I stayed with the club during training camp -- to help them get better. I'm trying to keep them rolling."

Maxie was a defacto assistant to defensive line coach Casey Creehan during training camp, helping work with his replacements before he left to attend NFL camps.

He was also doing well scouting because Barker felt he related to prospective players and is a good salesman for the CFL. But every day he hit the gym just in case this situation arose, since the Stamps didn't carry extra import defensive lineman on their practice roster so they could cover other areas.

Stamps head coach Tom Higgins said Maxie will probably play about 20 snaps during Thursday's game in Montreal and will spell off Randy Chevrier at nose tackle.

Tearrius George will replace Gargiulo at defensive end, but Maxie could also play that spot if needed.

"The downside is football shape is a lot different than being in shape," Higgins said.

"He keeps in good shape, so that's why we're saying a limited number of plays."

However, Higgins makes it clear this is a short-term fix.

"He could have a sack every time he's on the field and that wouldn't change our decision about this," Higgins said. "He will be released eventually.

"He's someone we can call upon who knows what to do."


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