Time to be handy

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:14 PM ET

Ken-Yon Rambo’s delayed return to action is at least a one-week reprieve for somebody.

Whether it’s a starting assignment, a roster spot or even a practice roster position, somebody’s situation with the Calgary Stampeders will be in limbo when the 2008 CFL receiving leader returns to action.

That puts the tension among receivers up a level for Saturday’s clash against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

“I can’t think about things I can’t control,” said Stampeders non-import receiver P.K. Sam, whose slotback spot appears the obvious place for Rambo to be inserted.

“All I can do is my assignments, and if Rambo comes back and they do something different, there’s nothing I can do about it.

“Including NFL and up here, this is seven years of professional sports (for me). You learn to block certain things out, because it affects your game and your play.

“When Rambo comes back, he’s a very good receiver, and if they feel they need to tweak something in the lineup for the better of the team, you have to take it.”

Rambo was close to returning against the Roughriders for the first time since suffering a horrible knee injury last season ­— in fact, one year to the day of Saturday’s kickoff.

However, he isn’t quite ready.

The time is coming, though, and the receivers know it, but they’re trying block out any worried thoughts the best they can.

“It never is easy, but I’m at the point of my career where I want to be part of a team,” Sam said. “You want the individual accolades and stuff, but I’m putting team first. If something with Rambo affects my position and we’re winning and I’m still a part of the team, there’s nothing wrong with it.”

Sam has the starting position where Rambo will likely be inserted, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be out of a job.

After all, we’re talking about a third-year CFLer who the club acquired in the off-season from the Toronto Argonauts for veteran pass-catcher Jeremaine Copeland.

However, Sam’s start to the season in Calgary hasn’t gone as well as hoped so far for the 6-foot-4, 220-lb. receiver.

He missed most of training camp due to illness and injury, and in two games, he has eight catches for 75 yards.

In his debut, the team’s win in Hamilton, Sam caught seven balls for 62 yards, so the last outing, the 27-24 loss to the host Argos, didn’t meet expectations.

“It happens with receivers,” Sam said. “I know my role in the offence. Nik (Lewis) has been here for six, seven years, and it’s about progressing in the offence.

“As a receiver, you go off catches, but I think (my play has) been pretty good. Overall, I haven’t had an awesome game, but I would rather have two or three catches and win than have 10 for 150 yards and lose every game.”

Romby Bryant is tied with Lewis atop the team with

211 yards receiving but isn’t feeling any safer on the starting roster.

Last outing, he had a couple of drive-killing drops.

“Last week was last week,” Bryant said. “It’s not easy to let it go. For me, it’s not, but that’s what you’ve got to do in this profession.

“I do put more pressure on myself, but I’ve got to get over it and move on to the next week. I’m still out here trying to fight for a job, so I’ve got to put that all behind me.”

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca


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