Esks must overcome, says Ray

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:46 AM ET

WINNIPEG - Ricky Ray just had his favourite target taken away. Again.

The Edmonton Eskimos quarterback will be without his most productive receiver for the next four to six weeks with the injury to Fred Stamps, who leads the league with 619 yards on 33 catches.

“It’s tough, he’s one of our best players on offence. Makes a lot of plays for us so it’s definitely going to hurt not having him,” said Ray. “We’ve just got to find a way to overcome it and find a way to get it done.”

Stamps, who missed four weeks last season with a separated shoulder, has been interrupted by injuries since leading the CFL with 1,402 yards in 85 carries in 2009.

“He was on a streak to break the record,” fellow slotback Jason Barnes said of the CFL single-season best 2,036 receiving yards by Allen Pitts in 1994. “He’ll be fine, he’ll be back in a few weeks and you know he’s going to put up numbers.”

But the numbers the Eskimos are concerned about in Stamps’s absence will be up on the scoreboard.

“It’s just unfortunate to lose a guy like him, he was a big part of our offence,” said Ray. “He wants to be out there helping the team, he’s just got to rest up a bit.”

While Stamps was expressing discomfort on the sidelines, the extend of the injury wasn’t realized until after.

“He played the rest of the game, he was obviously in pain but it didn’t seem like he let it affect him that much,” said Ray. “To find out the day after that he’s going to be out, it’s just a tough situation.”

Unbelievably, Stamps was bleeding internally when he went vertical to pull down a 27-yard pass amid three defenders with 16 seconds to go in the half.

“Those are the kind of plays he makes,” Ray said. “That’s why you didn’t think much of the injury.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

Twitter@SunModdejonge


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