This kick-return stuff deadly for Ralph

GERRY PRINCE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 6:32 AM ET

The old 'I got it, You take' routine is beginning to wear on Brock Ralph. Seemingly every time teammate Winston October suggests the 24-year-old Edmonton Eskimos receiver field the ball on a kickoff, Ralph ends up injured. October allowed Ralph to drift under a ball during a game in Ottawa two seasons ago. Ralph broke his collarbone on the play and was done for the year.

When Ralph took over for October's kickoff return partner, Mike Bradley, during practice Tuesday, history repeated itself. Ralph hauled down the ball at October's insistence and ended up taking Antonio Wilson's knee to his left thigh.

"My muscle is not letting me get to where I'm going to need to be to stride out and run and do those things," winced Ralph yesterday.

"The main thing is, unless I'm pretty close to being 100 per cent, we've got other guys here that can do a better job than I can when I'm not on the top of my game or able to run full speed.

"It almost feels dead right now but it has improved since yesterday. I know pain-wise it's something I can push through."

In the event Ralph winds up a scratch this week, fellow non-import Scott Robinson could be added to the roster.

But head coach Tom Higgins wasn't about to write Ralph off .

"It's not as bad as first anticipated," he said. "We have a little bit of time on our side.

"He took a knee to the quad but it had a ripple effect all the way down. All of a sudden he couldn't walk and he was thinking it could have been something with his knee."

Wide receiver Ed Hervey is a definite scratch for this week and newcomer Scott Cloman took a number of reps with the No. 1 offensive unit.

Cloman and Tony Simmons could also find their way to the roster for tomorrow's battle.

"Never say never," Higgins said. "However, it's a long shot. We're giving them all a crash course to get them up to speed and teach them as best we can.

"The way we operate our offence, you need to be here at least two or three weeks before you can be a contributor offensively."

LATE HITS: Ralph (bruised quad), Hervey (knee) and rookie fullback Mathieu Bertrand (concussion) were the designated sitters at practice ... Donny Brady was back at his defensive halfback spot for the second day and has medical clearance to play this week. "I'm ready to go, it's too big a game," said Brady, who was stabbed in the back during an altercation outside a local nightspot in the early hours of Sept. 4. "I rehabbed good, I'm healing up and feeling better."


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