Rambo sidelined

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:58 PM ET

CALGARY - The last time the Calgary Stampeders had a receiver out with a tender Achilles, the situation didn’t end well.

They can only hope there isn’t a repeat of what happened to Ryan Thelwell two CFL seasons ago.

So the Stamps are being cautious with Ken-Yon Rambo.

Rambo will sit out Saturday’s meeting with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at McMahon Stadium (7:30 p.m., TSN) to give a nagging Achilles injury a rest.

In 2009, Thelwell sat out a few games with a tender Achilles only to eventually tear the tendon, coincidentally in Hamilton against the Ticats.

Rambo doesn’t see the similarities at this point but admits the issue has nagged him since the start of training camp.

“We got the MRI, and there are no tears,” Rambo said. “That’s what I was worried about. It came back negative.

“I just need to rest it and get treatment and make it heal as soon as possible. I need to get those deep-tissue massages. I’m sticking with it.”

If this were a playoff game, there is no question Rambo would be on the field.

But at this point, a slowed Rambo won’t be as productive as Landan Talley, the sophomore receiver who will take his place.

Rambo actually took a week off already, letting Talley show off his skills in a Week 2 win over the B.C. Lions in Vancouver.

Not only does Talley work as a slotback across from Nik Lewis, he doubles as the second kick returner.

When the Lions were avoiding main return threat Larry Taylor, Talley took off, getting 150 yards on six kickoff returns. Talley also scored a receiving touchdown against the Lions and finished with 205 total yards.

When Rambo returned, Talley was a ratio casualty, and he’s been biding his time ever since.

“I haven’t seen it as tough,” Talley said. “I took that waiting game as me learning.

“I’m behind two great receivers in Rambo and Romby (Bryant). I sit back, watch them and key on stuff they do. Hopefully, I add it to my game and that makes it better for me when I get the opportunity to step on the field.”

Rambo’s numbers are down this season, and the injury could be a good reason for it — not that he ever uses it as an excuse.

He only had three catches for 26 yards in last week’s win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders to give him 22 receptions for 214 yards in four outings.

His 9.7-yard average per catch is much lower than his career of 14.6, and it could be that he doesn’t have the explosiveness or strength to break tackles.

The strange part of Rambo’s injury is it’s the left leg that’s bothering him. At the same time that Thelwell was recovering from a torn Achilles, the 32-year-old was working back from a torn ACL in his right knee.

Right now, his right leg is strong and healthy with no problems after being rebuilt, which cost him a full year.

“It goes with getting older, but I don’t feel old. I’m still one of the top-five fastest guys on the team at 32,” Rambo said. “That’s saying a lot.

I feel I keep myself up in the off-season, and I workout really hard.

“I might have to look at my off-season training. Am I doing too much? I have to look at things like that. I might tweak things this off-season.”

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


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