Sprained ankle keeps James' status up in the air

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:12 PM ET

As he walked off the field following practice -- limped, actually -- Shannon James was called Miracle Man by a teammate.

Could be apropos.

Three days ago, the Calgary Stampeders linebacker suffered a badly sprained ankle in practice and had to be helped off the field. Two days ago, he was wearing a boot on his foot. Yesterday, he partook in the walk-through practice.

And for tonight's clash with the Saskatchewan Roughriders?

"Game-time decision," James said. "It's a lot better. The boot was really to protect it, but it's a game-time decision. I feel pretty good. Hopefully (today), I'll feel a lot better. As of right now, we'll see what happens."

James was injured when he tangled up with fullback Rob Cote while battling for a ball.

Considering how he was limping, you have to wonder whether it's in the team's best interest for James to play, even if his picture is on the official game tickets.

Sure, he may be just fine. Or he could risk aggravating a problem and making it a long-term issue.

"I don't really think like that," James said. "Right now, I'm thinking I want to play. That doesn't cross my mind. I want to play. I never miss a game.

"Last time I missed a game? I don't know. I never missed a game in college, never missed a game as a pro. When I come in, whatever Pat (Clayton, the team's athletic therapist) feels is best for me, that's what's gonna happen."

"To have to sit down and watch will hurt me a lot. I'm confident -- more than confident -- my teammates can get the job done without me, but I don't want to think like that."

At least the Stamps are certain cornerback Brandon Browner will play. He practised yesterday after missing Thursday due to the flu.

Riders' platoon plans

Roughriders head coach Ken Miller is planning to use both Darian Durant and Steven Jyles at quarterback tonight.

Miller said he expects Durant will start and play the first few offensive series and then let Jyles take the helm for a spell.

"It'll depend somewhat on how the game unfolds, but that's what I have in mind," he said. "If things go according to plan and (Durant's) really hot, we'll just leave him in. If we're going the way we normally do, we'll take him out for a series or two and let Steven get in. Let him take a couple of series."

RANDY.SPORTAK@SUNMEDIA.CA


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