Carpenter eager to nail down spot

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:29 AM ET

Dwaine Carpenter is relieved he's not the one making the personnel decisions.

With so much talent in the locker-room at McMahon Stadium, the veteran linebacker and defensive captain admits setting the Stampeders' lineup is a tough task.

"It's not just the amount of depth, but also the amount of talent," Carpenter said. "That's a plus-plus. It's a good job on them of finding the talent to come in here and compete for a job, and it's a plus for us because if anyone goes down at any time, someone can step in and fill that spot."

The Stamps hit the turf last Friday minus Carpenter, a victim of the numbers game who was scratched for the first time this season in a 27-18 victory over the B.C. Lions.

With Canadian defensive lineman Mike Labinjo pushing to suit up after missing six games with a leg injury, the Stamps will likely shuffle their 42-man lineup again prior to Saturday's clash the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at McMahon.

Labinjo's return would likely free up a spot for an import, and Carpenter has been seeing plenty of first-team repetitions in practice this week, serving as the utilityman in a linebacker rotation that also includes starters Shannon James, Tim Johnson and Malik Jackson.

Regardless of his role, Carpenter insists his approach hasn't changed.

"You still have to prepare like you're going to play because you never know what will happens during the course of the week," Carpenter said. "You can't control anything that the coaches do -- that's not your job. You can't be focused on what they're doing. You've got to be focused on your job. No matter when your number is called, you've still got to be ready."

COPELAND SNAGS AWARD

Jeremaine Copeland's eye-popping grabs aren't going unnoticed.

The Calgary Stampeders slotback was named the CFL's offensive player of the month for September, capping a four-game span in which the savvy veteran racked up 343 receiving yards on 18 catches, scored four majors and was a regular on the highlight reels.

Copeland currently leads the CFL with a dozen receiving touchdowns and 886 yards through the air.

"It is a nice honour for Cope," said Stampeders coach John Hufnagel. "It's nice to see that he was recognized for the plays that he made during the month of September. I thought it was well-deserved."

Hamilton Tiger-Cats linebacker Otis Floyd (top defensive player), Saskatchewan Roughriders placekicker Luca Congi (top special-teamer) and B.C. Lions defensive end Ricky Foley (top Canadian) were also honoured.


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