Calling on Calvin

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:51 AM ET

There are compliments - and then there is the type of compliment Calvin McCarty has received.

"His hands are as good as any receiver that we have on our ball club," said Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia of the non-import running back.

"He has got the ability to make some unbelievable catches, as you witnessed last year against Saskatchewan on Eddie Davis.

"He is multi-dimensional and fills a few roles."

And tonight, McCarty will likely fill the role of the lone tailback in certain offensive plays, as the Esks need to re-arrange some roster personnel to meet the CFL's quota of seven non-import starters.

The loss of starting left guard Dan Comiskey means Edmonton is down to six regular starting non-imports: LB Agustin Barrenechea, WR Brock Ralph, C John Comiskey, RG Patrick Kabongo, RT Joe McGrath and SB Kamau Peterson.

As usual, Maciocia is not describing how he's going to get another starting non-import on the field, but there are just a few options.

In some offensive plays, the Esks can go with three non-import receivers by using Andrew Nowacki.

Fullback Mathieu Bertrand can also fill that starting Canadian role.

And McCarty - a 23-year-old B.C. native - can substitute for import running back Damien Anderson.

"It's an opportunity - make the best of it," said McCarty on his chance to shine tonight.

It appears the soft-spoken runner will only get a limited number of plays as the single running back against the Calgary Stampeders this evening (8 p.m., CHED).

Regardless, it will mark the first time in two years that McCarty is in this position.

In 2006, he led Western Washington in rushing and receiving yards.

Now in his second season with Edmonton, he is using Anderson as a mentor. That relationship has ensured there will be no hard feelings when Anderson has to come off the field tonight in certain plays to make sure the club plays by the ratio rules.

"I have seen Calvin since he was a rookie. I wish him the best. I know he is going to do a great job (tonight)," said Anderson.

"Only in certain situations Calvin will be put in there. The majority of the game I will be in."

Anderson's numbers in last week's regular-season opener were nothing to write home about. He averaged just 3.8 yards per carry.

McCarty's career average with the Esks is just 2.2 yards on six carries last year.

So, don't expect the Stampeders to be too worried about the running game.


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