CALGARY - It might not show up on the stats sheet, but Keenan MacDougall wasn’t the only Calgary Stampeders safety to scoop up a loose ball in Sunday’s season-opening blowout of the Montreal Alouettes.
Starter Eric Fraser was sidelined with a concussion and had a front-row seat as his rookie replacement returned a fumble for a 63-yard touchdown.
“I had to go get the ball for him,” said Fraser, shaking his head in mock disgust. “He dropped it in the endzone, so I made sure he got that souvenir for his mom or his dad or whoever. Obviously, it’s one of those things that doesn’t happen too often. I’ve been here for two years — 38 games — and I haven’t gotten one yet. It’s good for him. Hopefully, he keeps getting bounces like that.”
Despite earning a spot on the highlight-reel in his first professional appearance, MacDougall will be spending a bit more time on the sidelines.
Fraser, 23, returned to the practice field earlier this week and will be in his familiar spot for Saturday’s matinee against the Toronto Argonauts at Rogers Centre (1 p.m., TSN, QR77). MacDougall will see spot duty and contribute on special-teams, but all indications are it will be awhile before his next CFL start.
Fraser didn’t miss a single practice session in his first two campaigns with the Stamps, an ironman streak that ended during training camp due to a sore back. His absence against the Alouettes was the first regular-season outing he has skipped since his post-secondary days at Central Michigan.
“It’s never fun watching somebody else playing your position, especially once it gets to the regular season. You want to be out there, and you want to be helping the team win,” Fraser said. “But I was a little more relaxed than I thought I would be. I tried to make it fun during the game and just enjoy it and take the spectator perspective and not get all uptight and stressed out.
“I guess the guys made it easier, too, with blowing them out.”
Stamps left tackle Edwin Harrison (hamstring) is also a candidate to return against the Argos. Same goes for receiver Jabari Arthur, who’s been bothered by a sore hammy … The Argonauts have signed former Stampeders OL Tony Washington to their practice roster. R Ken-Yon Rambo, who was released on the same day as Washington, has also been hanging around the team. Rambo is continuing to rehab an Achilles injury.
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