Lewis looking to lead

Stampeders receiver Nik Lewis believes the catching crew for the Red & White is still solid without...

Stampeders receiver Nik Lewis believes the catching crew for the Red & White is still solid without Ken-Yon Rambo. (Sun Media/Lyle Aspinall)

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:02 AM ET

With last year's leading receiver out, Nik Lewis expects a bit more attention on the field.

Attention is something the bombastic receiver always wants, but this type won't be as pleasant.

Without Ken-Yon Rambo drawing a safety over to the outside, there will be more traffic in the middle of the field where Lewis makes his money for the Calgary Stampeders.

No problem, the veteran contends.

"I get attention from everybody all the time," Lewis said. "It don't matter. It's something I pride myself on. If I don't get attention, I feel disrespected.

"With Ken-Yon out, we have to step up and make plays. If this was 2007, it wouldn't be a big issue. Nobody knew back then what Ken-Yon could do.

"Now he was the No. 1 receiver last year, it's different. Me and Jeremaine (Copeland) are still the same players we were back then. We're still playmakers. We're going to miss him but it won't stop us from making plays."

Rambo was hurt Friday night during a 48-10 beating of the B.C. Lions in Vancouver.

Lewis wasn't there, sitting out for the first time in his six-year CFL career due to a hip injury.

The 27-year-old slotback found it tough to watch but agreed with head coach John Hufnagel a game off was best to rest what Lewis describes as a nerve problem.

"It's funny. The thing that sat me down, I could walk, I could dance, I could golf, I could do everything under the sun but play football," Lewis said. "It wasn't good. I understand what Huf's message was. If I aggravated it again, I might be out a couple weeks."

After one practice, Lewis feels good enough to face the Saskatchewan Roughriders Saturday at McMahon Stadium.

"I can only go day by day because you never know how the nerve is going to react," Lewis said. "We'll see how it goes. I'll keep doing what I can to stay on the field."

When Rambo missed the season-opener, the offence struggled. Although replacement Titus Ryan caught three passes for 44 yards, the Montreal Alouettes weren't respecting him by giving the cornerback help.

That meant the likes of Lewis and Copeland were getting double-teamed more often, and the results weren't great.

Lewis didn't make a catch until the third quarter, and he finished with four grabs for 87 yards.

It would appear Ryan will play in Rambo's spot, and the rookie will need to be a deep threat to open up the rest of the offence.

"Titus may actually have Rambo in a 40," quarterback Henry Burris said of Ryan's speed. "Rambo may argue, but Titus is a pretty fast guy.

"The defence knows that and they will put guys in positions to cover him. If we get a chance to take a shot, we will take advantage."


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