Stamps insist they're not Bur-ied

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:34 AM ET

Pundits around the CFL are predicting the Calgary Stampeders will fall flat on their face without their No. 1 quarterback.

That's just fine with the players who will dress Saturday when the Stamps take on the B.C. Lions. It will just be more shocking when the CFL club does get another victory with Henry Burris on the sidelines with a dislocated shoulder.

"People who are counting us out are going to be surprised," said receiver Ryan Thelwell, whose teams won quite a few games with backup pivots during his six seasons in Vancouver.

"It's tough when you lose someone of Hank's importance to the team.

"He's one of our leaders and was having a great season.

"When he goes down, this is the most crucial time of the season. At the same time, we also have all the confidence in the world in Akili (Smith) and Barrick (Nealy). Both have done well. We're just going to come out like any other work week.

"Nobody thinks we can do it. We're excited because we know we can."

Burris is gone for at least the next two weeks because of a dislocated shoulder suffered Friday in Hamilton, the club officially announced yesterday.

After taking his shoulder sling off in two weeks, Burris will be week-to-week.

Will the Stamps have lost three straight games by then and be in danger of missing the playoffs?

"If the season ended today, we're in the playoffs," said head coach Tom Higgins.

"We're just going to line up and try to get two points in B.C."

With Burris out, the onus is put on the rest of the team to pick up its game. Running back Joffrey Reynolds is one of those players who is challenging himself to raise his game.

"Until Akili gets comfortable we have to go that extra mile," Reynolds said.

"We expect the offence to still run the way it's been running.

"We don't want Hank to rush back in two weeks where he won't be confident in his shoulder.

"When you don't have that confidence, you overcompensate and get hurt in another area, whether it's the defence, special teams or the running game."


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