Esks have some fun with Stegall banter

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:42 AM ET

Milt Stegall is taking some good-natured shots in Eskimoland.

After guaranteeing a Winnipeg win against the Edmonton Eskimos on Saturday if the East Division semifinal playoff game is sold out in the Manitoba capital, Stegall is being accused of receiving a share of ticket revenue.

"I think he has got a cut on the gate," shot Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia, kidding around with media reporters.

"He can come out and just guarantee the win, right? Or he can come out and guarantee the win if the stadium is sold out.

"So, when you take a good hard look at it, it's the first time I have heard 'guarantee a win' with a sellout crowd. So, he has got a cut on the gate.

"That just makes it tougher on myself and our organization because players are now going to come back and try to negotiate contracts where they can get a cut on the gate.

"I mean, that is a pretty smart move from his end."

Stegall - the Winnipeg Blue Bombers star receiver - has given reporters material that will cause spinoff stories right up to game time Saturday (11 a.m. MT, TSN, CHED).

As of late yesterday, 25,100 tickets had been sold for the cross-over playoff tilt.

That's about 4,400 shy of capacity at Canad Inns Stadium.

"I had the opportunity to speak with (Winnipeg) coach (Doug) Berry this morning. I just want to make sure (Stegall) shares some of that fortune with some of his teammates," continued Maciocia.

"Maybe what we will do is when we get there, we will see what they announce in the middle of the second quarter and if it is not capacity crowd, we like our chances."

Nobody in the Eskimos' compound seems the least bit more motivated by the guarantee call by Stegall.

"That is Milt being Milt," said Edmonton receiver Kamau Peterson.

"When you have done everything he has done in this league, I think that earns you a licence to say whatever you want."

MEDICAL UPDATE

The Garrick Jones watch will become more interesting yet. The Edmonton Eskimos starting left tackle will practise today, Sun Media has learned.

After missing Tuesday's practice session and not taking any reps with the first-team offence in contact drills yesterday, Jones gets his chance today to prove he gets a ticket to Winnipeg.

If he comes through today's practice session with a clear head, he will play Saturday against the Bombers.

Jones had his bell rung last Friday and didn't finish the final regular-season game.

The playing status of receiver Fred Stamps is still up in the air.

While Stamps practised yesterday, it won't be surprising to see the Esks bring an extra receiver (Greg Prator) to Winnipeg and make a gametime decision.

Stamps hasn't played since Oct. 4 because of a leg problem.

FINISH LINES

Siddeeq Shabazz (defensive) and Kamau Peterson (Canadian) were named CFL players of the week yesterday.

Shabazz had a superb outing in Edmonton's win against Montreal last Friday with eight tackles, two quarterback sacks and a forced fumble.

Peterson had 10 catches for 108 yards.


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