Ailing lineup hopes extra time off helps healing

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:46 AM ET

To a man, the Stampeders have nothing but high praise for athletic therapist Pat Clayton.

"He's a medicine man, a miracle worker and a witch doctor, all worked into one," fullback Teyo Johnson said.

This week, the Stampeders have time on their side, too.

With nine sleeps between battles -- they beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats four days ago at McMahon Stadium and travel to Montreal to meet the East Division-leading Alouettes on Thanksgiving Monday -- the players have a longer-than-usual break to heal their bumps and bruises.

"It's big, especially for guys who have been playing all year and are fortunate enough to not have the injury bug," said star running back Joffrey Reynolds.

"It's always good to head into a game feeling as close to 100% as you can, especially this late in the season and especially in the situation we're in, where we're trying to win games down the stretch to secure the No.-1 spot."

Although the Stampeders practised yesterday at McMahon Stadium, linebacker Shannon James, slotback Nik Lewis, safety Wes Lysack and offensive lineman Dimitri Tsoumpas all skipped the session with minor injuries, while halfback Keon Raymond and defensive utility-man Dwaine Carpenter were excused to return home to spend a couple days with their families.

Malik Jackson, who was injured in Saturday's 15-14 win over the Tiger-Cats, was also a spectator, although coach John Hufnagel is hopeful he'll be ready to return to the practice field tomorrow.

The team is off today.

HOPEFULS GET A LOOK

The Stamps auditioned a couple of CFL hopefuls yesterday, inviting quarterback Michael Desormeaux and defensive lineman Vince Redd to practice for free-agent tryouts.

Desormeaux, a lefty who starred alongside Stamps offensive lineman Jesse Newman at Louisiana-Lafayette, was recently released by the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, who were giving him a look at safety.

Redd spent part of last season with the New England Patriots.

SHUT OUT ON AWARDS

The Stamps were shut out of the CFL's weekly awards.

B.C. Lions QB Buck Pierce (offensive) and R Paris Jackson (Canadian), headlined the winners. Montreal Alouettes LB Chip Cox (defensive) and Winnipeg Blue Bombers KR Jovon Johnson (special teams) were also honoured.


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