Stampeders rookies ready to tackle CFL playoffs

Earl Okine of the Calgary Stampeders.(JIM WELLS/QMI Agency)

Earl Okine of the Calgary Stampeders.(JIM WELLS/QMI Agency)

SCOTT MITCHELL, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:50 PM ET

A little more than a week ago, Earl Okine and Freddie Bishop III were settling in to watch the Calgary Stampeders’ regular-season finale in Vancouver.

Less than 30 minutes of football later, both players realized they’d be needed — and soon.

First, Demonte’ Bolden went down.

Then, Micah Johnson followed.

Two starting defensive tackles, two season-ended knee injuries.

“That’s just the most freakish game I’ve ever seen in my life,” Okine said. “Freddie Bishop’s my roommate, and we were both like, ‘We’ve gotta be ready.’

“We were kind of preparing for this, but I don’t think we really expected it to happen (like this).”

Okine has been forced to make a quick transition to the CFL game after signing with the Stampeders in mid-October.

The 6-foot-6, 286-lb. defensive tackle out of Florida made sure he was ready by cutting weight after spending the summer in Houston Texans training camp.


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