Stamps' starting linebackers back together

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:05 AM ET

CALGARY - Finally, Juwan Simpson is helping put the band back together.

For the majority of this CFL season, the Calgary Stampeders have functioned without their starting linebacking crew.

Simpson has missed the past three games with a knee injury, but thanks to a long bye week, he’s ready to come back Saturday against the Montreal Alouettes.

While Simpson has had a good week of practice, it almost looked like the reunion wouldn’t happen.

Coverage linebacker Brandon Isaac left Wednesday’s practice with a groin injury, but he managed to come back Thursday and is good to go barring a setback Friday.

For the first time since Week 4, the Stamps will have Simpson, Isaac and Malik Jackson on the field at the same time.

“With me and Malik on the field, it’s been a game and a half this season,” Simpson said about Jackson, who left early in the opener and missed the following week with a concussion. “Brandon is versatile and does a lot of things for us. It’s good to have him out there. He’s an emotional guy.”

Simpson left the July 23 loss at home against the Edmonton Eskimos and it looked like the minor sprain would only keep him out a couple of weeks. He tested it heading into the meeting with the Saskatchewan Roughriders but the team decided a longer break would be best.

Turns out, the Stamps didn’t miss Simpson too much. They went 3-0 when he was out. Robert McCune replaced him in the starting lineup.

“It’s exceptional talent on this team,” Simpson said.

“This team is not made of just one person. Since I’ve been here, it’s not one person on offence or defence.

“That depth will help us down the road.”

Simpson isn’t just an important player on defence. He’s on every special teams coverage unit and usually getting his nose dirty at high speeds.

Making sure the knee is solid and sound was crucial before giving himself the green light, so he went as hard as possible in an extended practice week.

“We wanted to make sure I was confident before I would come out and play,” Simpson said. “With injury, you need to be confident in yourself that you are back.

“(Trainer) Pat Clayton said that once you are confident, you can go. Confidence isn’t hard for me to find.

“Being back out here, I really tested myself against the offensive line. It really allowed me to test myself and see where I was.”


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