Johnson regrets distraction

Teyo Johnson, who's on the disabled list, was back at Stamps practice Saturday. (Mike Drew/SUN...

Teyo Johnson, who's on the disabled list, was back at Stamps practice Saturday. (Mike Drew/SUN MEDIA)

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:12 AM ET

Realizing he took the spotlight away from everyone on the active roster, Teyo Johnson felt he needed to explain his situation to teammates.

So before a final walkthrough ahead of today's West semifinal at McMahon Stadium (2:30 p.m., TSN), the Calgary Stampeders fullback tried to put the attention back on the Edmonton Eskimos and away from his stabbing Thursday night.

"It's really disappointing not to be able to play in this game, and I really think that's the main focus," said Johnson, who was a surprise attendee yesterday after missing Friday's practice.

"This is a big distraction and I hope we can move forward from it. I've gotta root my team on tomorrow, and what's most important is getting this victory and staying in the chase for the Grey Cup."

Johnson did offer to play despite recovering from a stab wound, but head coach John Hufnagel put him on the disabled list.

According to the coach, Johnson spoke his piece and the team is trying to move past it.

"Teyo did speak to the team," Hufnagel said. "I don't want to say he apologized, but he did tell teammates he did not want to be a distraction and he felt bad it occurred.

"I don't believe it was a distracting part of the week more than our players just being concerned about his health."

It was a strange week for the home team in many ways, and it contrasts the club they are facing.

Following two wins to play themselves into the post-season, the Eskimos are riding high and feeling good.

And they have a rallying cry, as linebacker Maurice Lloyd feels disrespected about something Henry Burris said a week ago.

Following the final loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders -- who await the winner of this game -- Burris said the Stamps would settle the score in the West final.

Lloyd thought Burris was getting ahead of himself.

If the Stamps are overlooking the Eskimos, the visitors are hoping to take advantage.

"I don't look forward," Lloyd said. "I take care of what is in front of me right now. What's in front of me is the Calgary Stampeders.

"If we see Saskatchewan next week, that means we handled our job this week. I'm looking to Sunday at 2:30 between the white lines when it's red jerseys versus white jerseys."

As for the possible distraction Johnson may have created, Lloyd said: "We don't care what happened here. We don't care about whether they are distracted or lacking focus. We just worry about ourselves."

Burris expects his team to be ready, despite anything he may have said in the disappointment of losing last week.

He wasn't about to get pulled into a war of words.

"We will play with a lot of energy and emotion and make sure we execute," Burris said.

"There's a lot of talk going on right now, but we're not worried about that. We're coming into the playoffs with a sour taste in our mouth. We have to do what we can to get rid of it.

"One thing this team has is resiliency. We have the belief we can get it done."

IAN.BUSBY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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