Utilityman won't Howell over pain

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:37 AM ET

For the second time in a month, Markus Howell took a massive hit while fielding a punt.

This time, when the Calgary Stampeders utilityman tried returning to the game, something stopped him.

"I wanted to play and stay in against B.C. I would like to stick it to those guys," said Howell of the 41-30 win Saturday at McMahon Stadium.

"But I looked around and my helmet mysteriously disappeared. I couldn't get back in there."

The play happened at the end of the third quarter, when Howell mishandled a punt on his own five-yard line.

Both Lions defenders Jason Arakgi and Jason Pottinger piled on the veteran Canadian, who had shooting neck pain and stayed on the turf for several minutes.

Against the Saskatchewan Roughriders a month ago, Howell took a hard shot from fullback Chris Szarka, although he stayed in that game.

The Stamps have a week off before hosting the West final.

"I'm sure thankful for the bye week," Howell said.

"I was stiff getting out of bed this morning.

"I'm not allowed to drive right now because I can't shoulder check. I just have to ice it up. (Trainer) Pat Clayton can't get aggressive with it for a few days, but I will be ready for whoever comes to town."

Stamps head coach John Hufnagel expects left tackle Ben Archibald (pectoral), left guard Jesse Newman (knee) and defensive lineman Charleston Hughes (ribs) to also be ready when the team returns to the practice field Thursday.

Having those linemen return is good news because the team may be without left guard Derek Armstrong, who injured one of his biceps against the Lions.

The way Howell dives into the oncoming rush, it shouldn't be a surprise to see him have a few aches and pains. But he is now wearing a extra layer of protection on his shoulders called Zoom Bang. It's a shirt that has small jel-filled packets across the shoulders.

"From the shots I've taken this year, it's helped a lot," Howell said. "It's a liquid on rest, but it becomes a solid on impact. It's actually really light. (Equipment manager) George Hopkins doesn't like it because there is extra laundry to do."


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