Rambo out, Durant in for rival tilt

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:53 AM ET

CALGARY - Ken-Yon Rambo wants to suit up for the playoff-bound Calgary Stampeders, although the speedy slotback admits an extra week of rest would be beneficial to his aching left leg.

Darian Durant has hinted he probably shouldn’t start for the already-eliminated Saskatchewan Roughriders, citing concern he could further damage his broken left foot.

All indications are both guys should sit out Friday’s showdown between the Stamps and the Green Riders at McMahon Stadium, but one will be uniform … and it’s Durant.

Go figure.

Rambo, whose soreness has spread from his Achilles tendon up to his knee, was once again limited in Wednesday’s workout at McMahon Stadium.

Afterward, Stamps head coach John Hufnagel confirmed the 33-year-old receiver will miss a third straight contest, saying “If he was ready to play, I’d play him. He’s just not ready.”

And Durant?

The Roughriders’ starting gunslinger left Wednesday’s practice session early to receive treatment on his broken foot.

Durant wasn’t available to the media at Mosaic Stadium, but Roughriders sideline boss Ken Miller insisted Durant’s still starting Friday’s outing against the Stamps.

It’s a risk. And there’s no reward.

There are still tickets available for Friday’s clash between the CFL West Division rivals, partially because it doesn’t mean much in the standings.

The Stamps (8-7) have lost back-to-back games and slipped into third spot, and they don’t own the tiebreaker against the front-running B.C. Lions (9-6) or the Edmonton Eskimos (9-6).

Although it wasn’t made mathematically official until last Sunday, the Riders (4-11) were essentially eliminated from post-season contention in a 17-1 loss to the Eskimos two weeks ago.

Durant wasn’t healthy enough to start that crucial contest at Commonwealth Stadium, although he entered the game in the second half in a failed attempt to spark the Riders offence. He couldn’t engineer a victory last week, either.

Even if Durant tosses a dozen touchdown passes in Friday’s date with the Stamps, the Riders are still just playing out the string.

Rambo and his teammates, meanwhile, will be preparing for playoff football.

The Stamps have already locked up a postseason berth, although they’ll likely need to hit the road for every playoff matchup.

To beat both the Lions and the Eskimos away from home (and not necessarily in that order), they’ll need Rambo to be running at full-speed — and he knows it.

“I don’t want to put myself in a predicament that I would be out for the rest of the season,” Rambo said after Wednesday’s workout. “I’ll make sure everything is right. I’ve had a knee injury before, so I know how to take it and I know how to guide myself through the injury. But it’s doing a lot better. It’s getting strong. I’ve been running this week, so it’s good. I’m getting my burst back. Everything is coming together.”

So if Friday’s meeting at McMahon Stadium was a post-season game, Rambo would be in the Stamps lineup?

“Yeah, definitely,” Rambo said.

On Tuesday, Regina reporters fired the same question at Durant, the usually fleet-footed quarterback who has guided the team to back-to-back berths in the Grey Cup game.

“Oh yeah,” Durant replied. “I’ve played in the past couple that have meant something to us, but it’s well worth the risk knowing that you’re still in the run for a Grey Cup.”

Thing is, they’re not. Not anymore.

So why risk it?

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNGilbertson


Videos

Photos