Esks' Stamps a no go
By Gerry Moddejonge, QMI Agency
|Edmonton Eskimos' slotback Fred Stamps goes up for the ball on the sidelines during practice. (Perry Mah/QMI Agency)
Fred Stamps will not face the Stamps for the second Labour Day in a row.
Edmonton Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed confirmed his top receiver will remain sidelined not only for Monday’s game but possibly the rematch later in the week, as well.
Stamps, who is recovering from abdominal surgery he underwent one month ago after being kicked in the groin against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, returned to the practice field this week and was listed as questionable to play.
After being given 50-50 odds by team doctors on Friday morning, Stamps saw those odds completely diminish after missing the following two practices.
“We have to be smart with Fred,” Reed said. “There is no reason for us to rush Fred back and have a major setback and cost us more games, so we’ll take it day by day and see where his progress is.
“When we return on Friday, he may or may not be in the lineup.”
Stamps led the league with 619 receiving yards when he went down, which is still good enough to be in the top five despite missing the last two games.
The fifth-year receiver helped the Eskimos to a 5-0 start before he got injured on the first play of Game 6. Edmonton hasn’t won since.
But it goes beyond the win-loss column for Reed.
“The player’s health is always going to be paramount,” the first-year head coach said. “When you make decisions, you make decisions for those guys’ livelihood being a major factor.
“Fred has done an exceptional job. If we put him out there when he’s not ready and he has a major setback, it may mean his season. So I think the smart thing in this case is to let him rest it a little bit (more) and see where he goes from there.”
As a consolation, the Eskimos will get Adarius Bowman back this week, who joins fellow receiver Marcus Henry on the active roster after missing all four starting imports — including Jason Barnes — in last week’s 36-1 loss to the B.C. Lions.
“Adarius was a very important piece of our puzzle,” said Reed, who lost the wide-out-turned-slotback to cracked ribs suffered in a Week 4 win over Calgary. “When Adarius went down, you started to see a decline in some of the things we did offensively because of the multiple things he does.
“He was an integral part of our run game with the protection part of it as well, and he was having an outstanding year as a receiver. And you have to account for that guy, he’s six-foot-three and 210 pounds.”
And every bit of him is anxious to return to the field on game day.
“It was a great week of practice, I’m feeling great right now,” said Bowman. “The only thing all of us are hesitant about is the extra contact part. Especially coming off an injury with back-to-back games four days apart.
“I’m not scared. No, no, no,” Bowman said. “Before the bye week, I didn’t feel this way. That’s why I took my time with that.
“I told the guys here and there to kind of give me (a hit) unexpected, so I can catch one without looking.”