Thelwell latest receiver to join overflowing M.A.S.H. unit

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 4:00 PM ET

Now the man called upon to replace the man is hurt.

Not good news for the Calgary Stampeders receiving crew.

Ryan Thelwell, who took the bulk of the plays for the injured Ken-Yon Rambo, missed the final quarter of Saturday's 24-23 loss to Saskatchewan due to a nagging hamstring problem.

He rode a bike yesterday while most of his teammates ran, but whether the veteran pass catcher will play in Saturday's game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers remains to be seen.

"Hopefully," said Thelwell, who's been battling a hamstring problem since training camp. "It actually feels a lot better today than it did (Saturday) night. It was a long night. Just a little sore and we'll take it day by day."

Calgary was rotating Thelwell and Titus Ryan in place of Rambo, last year's top receiver in the CFL. However, when the game ended, Thelwell had three receptions for 75 yards. Ryan, a rookie, caught one pass for seven yards.

Knowing Rambo's season is over due to a knee injury makes Thelwell's value much higher. And his ailment more frustrating.

"You get an opportunity to get on the field and be on the field all the time, and for this to happen is a little disheartening, but it's not that bad. It's just a tweak, and Patty (Clayton, the team's athletic therapist) is the best at what he does, so he'll take care of me."

Nik Lewis is nursing a nerve problem that is causing problems with his hip, leaving Jeremaine Copeland and Brett Ralph the lone vets feeling 100%.

Ryan and fellow rookie Jermaine Jackson are still feeling their way through the CFL game.

Thelwell is the one receiver with the speed and experience to play in Rambo's spot, but said he has a way to go to fill those shoes.

"I watched the film and there were some things I could have done better," he said. "The mistakes I made wasn't anything like running the wrong route. It was depth. All the routes I was short on, I never ran them in practice because Titus and I were switching. It's running it and knowing where to be.

"It could have been a lot better."


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