Stamps back for rematch

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:02 PM ET

EDMONTON - In the immortal words of Barney Rubble: “Hi-ya Fred.”

That's what Ricky Ray will be saying Friday when he looks across the huddle and sees Fred Stamps back in the lineup for the Labour Day rematch against Calgary.

The Edmonton Eskimos, having already benefited from the return of injured players Adarius Bowman and Greg Peach on Monday, are expecting another boost when one of the best receivers in the game returns after missing three games to abdominal surgery.

“It helps our confidence, it’s good to see him out there,” said head coach Kavis Reed, who confirmed Stamps return after Wednesday’s practice.

“We needed to make sure that A: he can make it through the entire game and more importantly, it’s not going to set him back moving forward.”

HEADS UP: The normally conservative Eskimos turned some heads with a little razzle-dazzle on special teams on Monday. Their version of the Music City Miracle worked on two fronts — it resulted in a big gain and it gave the Stamps something to think about heading into the re-match.

“If it doesn’t work it can be catastrophic, but we haven’t done a lot in terms of adjunct plays, as we’re calling our trick plays,” said Reed. “In all three phases we were a bit vanilla. In adding a little bit of spice on Labour Day, now they have to work on some things in a short week. That takes reps and concentration.”

CATCHING HIS BREATH: Most players feel like they’re running on air in their first game back from injury. It’s the next game or two, when the excitement wears off and reality sets in, that they notice the rust.

Adarius Bowman, who’d been out since July 23, turned in a big effort in his first game back Monday in Calgary — 81 yards receiving and another 44 yards on a trick play.

What’s left in the tank for Friday remains to be seen.

“That first game I was definitely running on adrenaline,” he admitted. “I was just glad to be back, still trying to get myself in better shape.

“But I think I’ll be OK for Friday because when guys are hurt or injured around here, our training staff does a great job continuing to train them and prepare them to be ready when they do come back. They do a good job of keeping us in condition so were ready when we come back.”

LATE HITS: The Esks released receiver Brad Smith and rookie defensive back Brian Bonner Wednesday and signed DB Denatay Heard to a practice roster agreement. Heard played nine games over two seasons (2008-2009) with Saskatchewan and spent part of last year on Toronto’s practice roster.

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