Burris back in saddle

Stamps QB Henry Burris will dress against the Blue Bombers, but may be held back from playing. (Sun...

Stamps QB Henry Burris will dress against the Blue Bombers, but may be held back from playing. (Sun Media File/Darren Makowichuk)

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:04 PM ET

Henry Burris had no problem playing the 'I told you so' card yesterday.

"We told everybody two weeks and week-to-week after that, but nobody wanted to believe us," said the Calgary Stampeders quarterback after partaking fully in practice.

"That's where we are."

A few hurdles remain in the way, but Burris is racing to a return to action after suffering a dislocated non-throwing shoulder Sept. 21. He has more strength tests to pass and has to move forward without any setbacks, but Burris may very well take the helm for a Stamps team looking to snap a three-game losing streak when they play host Sunday afternoon to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at McMahon Stadium.

Although everybody was saying yesterday it may be Ben Sankey under centre -- Burris included -- the team's undisputed No. 1 QB let it be known he expects to be ready to go.

"It's kinda my dress rehearsal to show I'm ready to go and to see how everything feels after practice. For the most part, everything feels good," said Burris. "I'm always optimistic. I worked my butt off to do what it takes, and hopefully I gave a good showing at practice and hopefully get that call."

On a day the Stamps officially announced they cut Akili Smith, it left three pivots on the roster -- Burris, Sankey and Barrick Nealy.

Obviously, Burris will dress against the Blue Bombers, but head coach Tom Higgins said he may be held back.

"Henry really is a fast healer, but that still doesn't mean that he gets to start," Higgins said. "We are gonna truly play it by ear, let him have some reps and make sure he is prepared if he needs to be called upon, but we are gonna let the week play itself out.

"Ben Sankey can take the team from start to finish, but Henry is gonna take some reps and see where he is at."

Certainly having Burris that close to taking the field again is a huge boost for the team that's in a tenuous spot holding its playoff position.

Burris was in the midst of his best season, having completed 60.1% of his passes for nearly 3,500 yards and 26 TDs, compared to 10 interceptions.

Still, there is a difference between being able to play and getting to play.

"I expect to go," Burris said. "I feel good, I feel confident as far as what I'm able to do. When I take some hits, we'll see the outcome.

"Always with an injury, despite what the recovery will be, you're looking forward to that first hit. Whether it's a knee or a shoulder or a hand, you're looking forward to that first hit."

But that first hit could always be the last. After all, he was injured when reaching out for a first down.

"I don't play Rickey Henderson too many times," Burris said. "That was a once-in-a-lifetime situation where I dove and had my arms out ahead of me. I was actually about to push up when I got hit.

"All I've got to do is avoid doing that again. Instead of diving over people trying to score miraculous touchdowns, I'll slide a lot more."


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