Stamps coming up lame

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:38 AM ET

CALGARY - John Hufnagel has been around football long enough, and seen too many training camps, to call this version of the Calgary Stampeders unlucky already.

Certainly, though, the injury news keeps getting worse and worse for the Stamps.

A day before they are scheduled to partake in their first organized scrimmage, the Stamps receiving corps (the last unscathed position outside of quarterback) took a hit.

During the morning practice session, highly-anticipated free-agent signing Maurice Price came down awkwardly after going up for a pass.

By the late practice session, the verdict was in: Fractured ankle. Price will be marked down for six-to-eight weeks.

This is the fourth long-term injury in seven days of camp, while seven other players were spectators at Saturday’s practices.

“Truthfully, the injures are no more than what they’ve been in other camps,” Hufnagel said. “It’s part of training camp. You hope people do get back healthy.

“You just have to persevere. That’s why you do bring in 75 people. That’s why you work so hard in the off-season to get as much depth as possible.

“I never want to see an injury, and I don’t expect injuries, but I understand that’s not the case.”

On Friday, punter Scott Crough suffered a ruptured disc in his back and will be out for a lengthy period.

On Day 1 of camp, defensive linemen Jadon Wagner and Kevin Dixon both suffered serious knee injuries that require surgery.

If there is one consolation, no veteran starters have gone down with anything that is more than day-to-day.

(Knock on wood).

The position hit hardest so far is the offensive line.

New hoggies coach Mike Gibson, who had running backs last year, has been working the past few days with about eight healthy bodies.

The likes of Edwin Harrison (hamstring), Jon Gott (head), Tony Washington (knee), J’Micheal Deane (calf) and Spencer Wilson (calf) have all been spectators the past few practices.

Gibson just coaches the players who join him on the field, and he doesn’t worry about the men watching from the sidelines.

“There is no reason for the eight of them out there to look over their shoulder and say, ‘When is that guy coming back,’ ” Gibson said.

“We don’t control those things anyway. They all want to be back. The guys who are out here have an opportunity to get more reps.”

Every healthy-enough-to-practice offensive lineman will be put to the test Sunday during another busy day.

There is a morning practice, and an important mock game in the afternoon.

“We only go into a regular game with six,” Gibson said about his depleted crew. “We have two more than we normally play with. We’re in a good shape.

“The guys have a great attitude. When you are down to eight players, and you are running two practices a day, you don’t hear them bitching or trying to get out of anything.

“They just move on to the next segment. I love their attitude.”

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNIanBusby


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