Stamps is doing what it takes to win

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:42 PM ET

Fred Stamps has reached 1,000 receiving yards in consecutive seasons for the first time in his career.

While his 2010 numbers won't measure up to what he did last year to lead the league in receiving, it's what he's been able to do in a limited amount of time that's impressive.

Stamps sat sixth overall with 1,046 yards on 67 catches following Saturday's overtime win against the B.C. Lions, despite missing four games in the middle of the schedule due to a separated shoulder.

"With that situation, there are things that keep me going," Stamps said. "I watched at the beginning of the season when they come out with the top-10 receivers in the CFL and my name was nowhere on the list.

"I look at things like that, that keeps me driving. Then I've got to hear that from my teammates: 'Why are you not on the top list?' I don't let things like that bother me, I just let it put a fire under me."

And so far, he has burned up quadruple digits on the stats sheet. But it's the wins and losses columns that hold his attention.

"A thousand yards is a good milestone to pass individually but like I said from the beginning, I'm really not worried about the stats sheet," said Stamps. "I led the CFL in receiving last year and I was still at home watching the Grey Cup."

Stamps led the Eskimos with three catches for 63 yards and their only aerial touchdown of the game Saturday, while the offence focused instead on pounding the ground.

"My main thing is I want to do whatever it takes to help my team win, if it's catching the ball, blocking or whatever," Stamps said. "I'm excited to see Ricky running for all those yards."

Ray only completed 10 passes for 139 yards, but more than made up for that lackluster aspect by nearly matching the real-estate on the ground.

"He looked like a running back," Stamps said. "He's not taking a slide, he's sitting there and taking it for the first down and tough yards.

"It feels real good to be on the winning side of the ball right now."

The victory pushed the Eskimos to a third-place tie with the Lions in the West Division, with the season series in hand in case of a tie-break scenario.

"What more can we ask for? Everybody wants to win and have home-field advantage," Stamps said. "Our main goal right now is just to get in (to playoffs). Once we're in, we're in."

Stamps is set atop his team for the second year in a row after the Eskimos second-leading receiver, Kelly Campbell, left Saturday's game with a concussion. His season hangs in the balance after taking a devastating blow from Lions safety David Hyland in mid-catch.

BARNES BACK: Eskimos receiver Jason Barnes is expected to return to Edmonton Monday after being released from hospital in Hamilton, where he has been recovering from a ruptured spleen in a game against the Tiger-Cats on Oct. 8. The season-ending injury did not require surgery.

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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