Illness, injuries plague Stampeders

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:43 PM ET

Based on practice formations Friday, three-fifths of the Calgary Stampeders offensive line from a week ago was missing from action.

With starting left guard Tim O’Neill (turf toe) officially out, tackles Ben Archibald and Jeff Pilon were both absent Friday with illness.

Jesse Newman will start at left guard, which was his job before a shoulder injury in Week 13, while Michael Byrne was at left tackle for Archibald and Godfrey Ellis was at right tackle for Pilon.

Coupled with the news that fullback Teyo Johnson was out after getting stabbed at a concert Thursday night, Stamps head coach John Hufnagel didn’t have a great morning.

Hufnagel hopes to get both Pilon and Archibald back at Saturday’s walkthrough so they can suit up in Sunday’s West semifinal against the Edmonton Eskimos.

“We’ve had to deal with adversity throughout the course of the season and we have some right now,” said Hufnagel.

“The fact this is going into the 19th game of the season, they are veterans and if they are physically healthy enough to play, they will get into the lineup.”

Archibald had a busy week, getting his first all-star nomination on Wednesday and was named the West Division most outstanding lineman on Thursday, but he came down ill Thursday night.

Pilon hasn’t seen the practice field this week at all, but that doesn’t mean linemates are counting them out.

“We’re not going to speculate because I anticipate those guys playing,” said centre Rob Lazeo. “This is playoff time.

“Jeff is a warrior. He’s been around this game for a lot of years and he will do what it takes to play in the game.

“If Jeff doesn’t get one rep in practice, he can go out and play. Nothing’s been decided, and I fully expect him to play.”

Stamps unveil Stan Schwartz award

The Stampeders are honouring one of their own in rewarding high school football players for their leadership and integrity. The inaugural Stan Schwartz Heart of a Champion Awards will be officially given to Jesse Hiebert from Lord Beaverbrook (Division I), Jeffrey Vela from Cresent Heights (Division II) and Benjamin Bullock from Bishop Carroll (Division III) at Sunday’s West semifinal.

Schwartz, a former Stampeders president, is in his 22nd season with the team.


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