Injury gives newcomer slotback shot

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:07 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Jermaine Jackson claimed sleeping last night wasn't going to be a problem, but waiting for a late start might cause some anxiety.

The Calgary Stampeders receiver has been waiting for this first pro start a long time, and now, the 27-year-old is stepping into the lineup for a five-time 1,000-yard receiver.

"No butterflies yet," Jackson said yesterday about replacing the injured Nik Lewis.

"Once those lights come on and kickoff starts, there will be a little bit then."

Jackson will get the nod after Lewis was shut down for at least a week due to a nagging hip injury that will only get better with time off.

Lewis is missing his first start due to injury since joining the Stamps in 2004 and his consistency will be missed, but the pressure isn't on Jackson to completely pick up the slack.

It will be a team effort in the receiving corps.

"I'm hoping for the best," said Stamps head coach John Hufnagel, adding Lewis was slowed by the injury.

"I'm not going to ask him to do all the things I ask Nik Lewis to do. We hope to use other players' abilities to hopefully accomplish what Nik provided for us."

Jackson had a solid pre-season for the Stamps, catching two touchdown passes in the opener against the Lions.

But this is a completely new group of defenders he will see tonight.

Hufnagel said the Saginaw Valley State product has earned the playing time.

"Jermaine has been very professional," Hufnagel said. "Since the opening day of camp he's been very attentive, he works hard and he learns quickly.

"He can catch the football. I know he's excited because he will be playing a bit more."


Videos

Photos