Stamps' Akili's heel

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:55 AM ET

Akili Smith's tenure with the Calgary Stampeders is over.

Following an ugly first-half performance Monday in a 33-21 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Smith was released last night.

The former first-round NFL draft pick started the past two games, both losses, in place of injured starter Henry Burris.

Ben Sankey replaced Smith to start the second half Monday against the Riders, and threw two touchdown passes, the same number of first downs Smith was able to generate in the first half.

With Burris set to dress next Sunday against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Sankey will likely start and the Stamps had more quarterbacks than they could fit on their roster.

The club believes third-stringer Barrick Nealy has a bright future and didn't want to release him.

"It really came down to a question of numbers," said GM Jim Barker. "It came down to a choice between Akili and Ben, and Sankey is more ready to play in the league right now."

The team doesn't want to rush Burris back, but he's been cleared to practice after suffering a dislocated shoulder two weeks ago.

If the playoffs started this week, Burris would be available to play.

In two starts and another four games of relief, Smith went 22-of-47 passing for 219 yards with no touchdowns and five interceptions.


Videos

Photos