Stamps' Talley knows role fades with Rambo's return

Landan Talley gets loose against the Roughriders. (QMI Agency)

Landan Talley gets loose against the Roughriders. (QMI Agency)

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:08 PM ET

CALGARY -- Landan Talley could be the leading candidate to be a healthy scratch.

That’s after being the Calgary Stampeders’ leading receiver in Friday’s 25-13 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Despite stringing together three solid performances, the sophomore slotback knows he will lose his roster spot as soon as fellow Stamps receiver Ken-Yon Rambo is ready to return from a left leg injury.

“My momma always told me, ‘When it’s my turn, it’s my turn. But until then, just be patient about it,’ ” Talley said. “You don’t want to be one of those people that’s like, ‘I want it, I want it, I want it …’ You’ve gotta relax, stay humble and don’t let it stress you out. And when that time comes, you’ve gotta be able to take advantage of it.”

The Stamps will return to practice Tuesday after a couple of off-days, and Rambo will once again be on the turf testing his sore left leg, a nagging injury that has spread from his Achilles to his knee.

Head coach John Hufnagel has already confirmed if Rambo is able to run at full-speed — and that remains a big ‘if’ — after missing three consecutive games, the former CFL receiving champion will be in the starting lineup for next Sunday’s road meeting with the Montreal Alouettes.

During his most recent media availability, Hufnagel told reporters, “If I have a 100% Ken-Yon Rambo, I’m in the mind-set right now to play Ken-Yon Rambo.”

That’s no surprise to Talley, but the product of little-known Lambuth University in Jackson, Tenn., has made the most of his opportunities this season.

During Friday’s victory over the visiting Roughriders, Talley led all Stamps receivers with five catches for 51 yards and scored a second-quarter touchdown.

In four starts in relief of Rambo, including the past three outings and a July 8 win in B.C., the speedy 24-year-old now has 14 grabs for 281 yards and three majors.

“They brought me in to fill some shoes of Ram’s — just to come in, be able to play and perform and keep that level high,” Talley said. “I know when he comes back, he’s going to continue to keep that level high. It’s not really that hard to know that when he comes back, we’re not going to lose a step.

“I know, when (Rambo) steps on the field, it’s going to be an amazing performance,” Talley continued. “Just like he said (Friday), ‘Man, when you get on that field, you’ve got to perform. Every single play, you’ve got to perform. That’s what they brought you here for, and that’s what you’ve got to do.’ ”

The future has arrived for the Stamps this season.

After four-and-a-half campaigns as a sidekick to Joffrey Reynolds, Jon Cornish has been handed the torch — and the football — and now is starring as the club’s lead running back.

Quarterback Drew Tate made his first professional start in Friday’s win over the Roughriders, forcing face-of-the-franchise Henry Burris into a backup role.

And although Rambo will reclaim his spot as soon as he’s healthy, Talley has given Stamps supporters reason to be optimistic about his future with the team, too.

“From the past performances, people know that when I’m on the field, you’ve got to look out for me,” Talley added. “So it’s a big confidence-builder.”

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNGilbertson


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