Rookie Stamp back on the field

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:44 PM ET

Johnny Forzani’s timing for his first meaningful route of 2010 was perfect.

Just when it appeared the Calgary Stampeders might be without receiver Ryan Thelwell for the home-opener on Canada Day, the rookie returned to the field.

In the past two days at Shouldice Field, Forzani has made outstanding grabs, providing head coach John Hufnagel another option if the 37-year-old Thelwell can’t go.

At this point, it would be a decision between two rookies, Ron Kelly and Forzani, to replace Thelwell, who has a sprained ankle not related to the recovery from a torn Achilles.

“Ryan worked so hard this off-season to get back,””Hufnagel said. “It’s a long season. I don’t expect it to be more than a game. At the most two.”

Forzani suffered a hamstring injury before training camp began and participated once every few practice but couldn’t stay on the field for any length of time.

Once the cuts were made, and Forzani was put on the practice roster, and the 21-year-old Calgary product was able to get fully healthy with a few days off.

“It feels good just to be able to practice,” Forzani said. “I realize it’s going to take some time to get back into it. I feel good running. My leg isn’t hurting.

“I have to catch what they throw to me. It’s real simple.”

Forzani, who was selected in the supplemental draft after one season at Washington State, needs practice time more than anything else right now.

He’s behind the likes of Kelly because of the time off.

“I have to catch up with the playbook because they make adjustments every day,” Forzani said. “I’m there, and I’m listening, but you don’t learn it until you do it. There are a few things I need to understand going into this game, but I’m doing all right.””

Extra points

The CFL has announced a news conference for Tuesday morning in Toronto, where they will unveil details about the new collective bargaining agreement with the CFLPA … The Stamps will announce their team captains for the 2010 season Tuesday … The Stamps return to McMahon Stadium Tuesday after three practices at Shouldice Park.

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


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