All signs point to healthy Smith despite crash

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

MONTREAL -- With one Brandon already hobbled, another one put a huge scare into the Calgary Stampeders yesterday.

Cornerback Brandon Browner (ankle) participated only sporadically in the final practice before Sunday's Grey Cup at Olympic Stadium, although he declared himself ready.

But then starting halfback Brandon Smith ran into some signage while chasing down a pass and stayed down for several minutes.

Although Smith initially thought he seriously damaged his knee, the rookie jumped back into practice like nothing happened.

"He gave us a scare," Browner said. "That's his competitive nature, and he's still young. You don't have to make a play on every ball in practice.

"Picks in practice don't give you a stat in the game, and sometimes, you have to be smart."

The Stamps played it smart with Browner, as he only practised enough to stay sharp.

"We didn't want to have a full practice with him, just get him some reps and practice the changes that may have to occur during the game," said Stamps head coach John Hufnagel. "He woke up this morning and responded very well to treatment."

Just like Browner, Smith won't let a few aches and pains stop him from playing.

"I knew I had to get up," Smith said. "The thing is I know I will have nicks and bruises, but as long as I keep getting up and fighting through those things, it will be fine. I love this team, and I will do anything for them."

Offensive lineman Fabio Filice tore his ACL Thursday.

Clean bill of health for Als

The Alouettes came away from the final practice completely clean with no major injuries to report. WR Kerry Watkins, who left Wednesday's session with a rib injury, was back in full first-team reps and looks ready to play.

Als head coach Marc Trestman seemed just as impressed his team has behaved well this week, especially after the CFL awards Thursday, which were held at Casino de Montreal.

"It's a distracting place, even just getting to the bus was work in itself," Trestman said. "The whole week, they've been a mature team. There are no red flags with anybody."

Enemy owner chats with Huf

Stampeders head coach John Hufnagel got an odd mid-practice visit yesterday, as Alouettes owner Bob Wetenhall came out to chat.

"He's a great man and a complete gentleman," Hufnagel said. "I really appreciate him coming out and offering his congratulations to us. It was nice of him."

Patterson's number retired

The Alouettes retired the No. 75 of WR Hal Patterson yesterday as part of the CFL Legends Breakfast. Patterson was with the club from 1954-60 as part of one of the all-time great QB-receiver tandems with QB Sam Etcheverry. Patterson was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 1971.


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