Fullback's retirement had familiar ring

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

If only Teyo Johnson unretired a week sooner, he'd have his Grey Cup ring by now.

As the towering fullback trotted onto the turf yesterday at McMahon Stadium, the shiny memento was en route to his off-season home in Arizona.

"UPS has my ring right now. I flew over it," Johnson said. "I've got the tracking number. It'll be up here soon."

The Calgary Stampeders wish Johnson could've been here sooner.

The 27-year-old rejoined the squad for yesterday's practice, ending his hasty retirement less than a month after informing Stamps head coach/GM John Hufnagel he was hanging up his cleats to focus on his stake in a start-up cellphone company.

Now he knows how Brett Favre feels.

"It's almost like an internal clock goes off and you're like, 'Man, any opportunity I can go play ...' " Johnson said. "I'm sure everybody who has an athlete in them has that same itch. When the summer starts going, in any sport, even ultimate frisbee, you're ready to go."

While the Stamps are thrilled to have the 6-foot-6, 260-lb. pass-catcher back in the fold, Hufnagel would've preferred if the former NFLer reported for work at the same time as the rest of the veterans.

"I wish he would've been here during training camp. There's no question I'm disappointed he's here now (instead of) being here during training camp," Hufnagel said. "But that was the agreement he had -- that he was going to pursue his business opportunity and if it hit a snag, he would be calling.

"That's what has happened. I'm pleased Teyo is here. I'd rather have him here for the past three weeks, but that's not the issue. The issue is he's here right now, and I've got to try to get him in some sort of shape.

"I have a few days to do that and to see where it may go, whether he can earn a spot on this football team."

His return comes at an opportune time for the Stamps, whose receivers have been making more trips to the infirmary than the end-zone over the past few days.

The CFL's reigning receiving champ, Ken-Yon Rambo, slipped during a routine passing drill yesterday and pulled up lame, prompting fears he might have re-aggravated a hamstring injury that hampered him during training camp.

Up-and-coming Canadian Jabari Arthur was carted off the field yesterday after hurting his foot.

Extra point

OL Jesse Newman practised for the first time this season yesterday, wearing a brace on his left knee. Veteran OL Jeff Pilon (knee) also suited up for practice.


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