Reynolds gets second chance
By IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency
|Stampeders tailback Joffrey Reynolds reacts on the sidelines in a game against the Eskimos at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alta., Sep. 5, 2011. (DARREN MAKOWICHUK/QMI Agency)
CALGARY - Joffrey Reynolds is getting another shot with the Calgary Stampeders.
And Jon Cornish wants less of a workload.
Good timing. The problem is one thing doesn’t have anything to do with the other.
A month ago, Cornish replaced Reynolds as the feature tailback with the Stamps, marking the first time since 2004 Reynolds wasn’t in the lineup on a regular basis.
LaMarcus Coker took Reynolds’ spot on the roster as the backup, but now Coker is out with an ankle injury suffered Friday night in Toronto.
So after sitting out four games, Reynolds will play Friday against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, but Cornish will still be the starter.
It doesn’t matter to Reynolds. Since going out, the 31-year-old has worked hard in practice waiting for another chance.
“For myself, it was hard to grasp at first,” Reynolds said. “The positive I took out of it was I could tweak all my shortcomings. I wanted to be a more complete player once I got a chance to get back out there.”
Cornish, who has 410 yards in those four games, sat out Monday’s practice with a hamstring tweak, but he said he just needs a break.
The 26-year-old Canadian asked the Stampeders to keep him off the special-teams coverage units he’s dominated since arriving with the team in 2007.
“I feel my body has a 250-yard limit on it,” Cornish said. “I can run, but keep me within those 250 yards. I run the ball and catch the ball. I will do anything that is asked of me. But I have personal limits.
“I came out ready to play special teams this year, and we’ve had a lot of Canadians getting injured. It’s still a problem. I have no backup. It was a problem in this last game. The three backups I have on punts were hurt, so I have nobody to go in for me.”
The Stamps had an issue in Friday’s loss to the Argonauts when both Cornish and Coker had injury issues. Cornish actually went on the field for a late play, although his hamstring wasn’t allowing him to do much.
The good thing about Reynolds is he’s never been hurt during his eight-year CFL career, and his 9,194 yards is a testament to that. For the first time in his life, he’s going into the final part of the season with some time off.
“I haven’t taken hits in a month, so refreshed is a good word,” Reynolds said. “Through this all, I’ve been confident in my skills. It’s always different viewpoints of how the team is playing.
“Sometimes you need to take a step back to take all of it in. I’ve done that. I’m ready to go out and play on Friday.
“I don’t want to look back.”
Cornish, who considers Reynolds a great friend, can’t wait to share a backfield with him again.
“It’s a lot better than seeing him run scout-team reps,” Cornish said. “I’m excited to see him on the field again.”