Eskimos give Stamps recovery time

No stranger to taking to the air to make a reception, Fred Stamps was given the day off Monday to...

No stranger to taking to the air to make a reception, Fred Stamps was given the day off Monday to recover from a couple of big hits against the Montreal Alouttes on Friday. (Perry Nelson/QMI Agency)

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:26 PM ET

EDMONTON - Fred Stamps doesn’t fear the middle, although he is suffering the effects of venturing there often Friday.

The Edmonton Eskimos receiver took Monday’s practice off, suffering from general soreness after a punishing game against the Montreal Alouettes.

Stamps is expected to suit up for practice later this week and will be in the lineup when the Eskimos head off to Toronto to take on the Argonauts next Monday.

“It’s been a few days after the game and my body is still a little bit sore,” said Stamps. “It’s just a matter of letting your body rehab a little bit.

“I don’t have any injury that you can pinpoint. It’s just an achy body. I took a couple of shots running around. That’s all it is, there is no main injury or anything like that.”

If anyone deserves a day off after Friday’s contest it would be Stamps, who was hung out to dry on a couple of occasions in the 38-25 loss to the Alouettes.

Stamps finished the contest with four catches for 79 yards. Early in the game he was hammered going up for a ball over the middle, which has become somewhat of a theme this season.

“Fred took some pretty vicious hits in the game and he’s pretty sore,” said Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed. “Today was an opportunity to let him get his body back.

“I would never question that young man’s toughness, some of the hits he took in that game were hard and he continued through. Early in that game he took a vicious hit and continued through. He had a bit of a stinger early and continued through. Fred’s tough. He’s a tough kid, there’s no question about it.”

Stamps currently leads the Eskimos receiving corps with 28 catches for 356 yards on the season. A good number of those catches have come in traffic where the six-foot, 188-pound receiver has had to play the price.

It’s something Stamps actually takes pride in, not afraid to venture back into the middle of the field, regardless of how much punishment he takes.

“When I get hit early it gets me in the game,” Stamps said. “I love getting hit early. I know people probably don’t pay attention but in the huddle I’ll get our big offensive lineman Kyle Koch to start beating on me, because I want to get that hit out of the way early.

“But that’s the kind of player I am. Getting that hit early and getting it out of the way gets you fired up.”

It takes a lot of intestinal fortitude to go into a crowd of players and not develop alligator arms going up for a ball. Especially the likes of the one thrown to him by quarterback Steven Jyles in the first quarter Friday, where Stamps had expose himself in order to reach up for the pass.

“That’s a rare quality in today’s receivers,” said Reed. “He’s someone that takes pride in coming away with those tough catches. He’ll go places where a lot of people are not willing to go. For the most part, he’s been very successful at it.”

In his sixth year with the Eskimos, Stamps has developed into a team leader, due in large part to his work in high-traffic areas.

But the New Orleans native wouldn’t have it any other way.

“That’s football and that’s why you play this game,” Stamps said. “In the CFL it’s a tough game, you always have that extra man lurking around the field. You know you’re going to get hit. The main thing is to try to get the ball and don’t stay down too long after you do get hit.

“When you get hit, you want to get right back up. You don’t want to give the defence satisfaction that they’ve hurt you or anything like that.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/SUNdvandiest


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