Protect and serve

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

The CFL went to great lengths this off-season to further protect quarterbacks -- the star players -- from getting injured and missing marquee matchups.

Roughing the passer penalties were stiffened, eliminating shots to the head and below the knees. The problem is you can't protect those who won't protect themselves.

The latest No. 1 pivot going down with injury is the Calgary Stampeders' most-outstanding player candidate, Henry Burris. How did he get hurt? Stretching out for extra yardage and putting himself in a vulnerable position.

The Stamps are arguing Tiger-Cats linebacker Zeke Moreno hit Burris late out of bounds, causing his shoulder to dislocate. Burris could miss anywhere from four-to-six weeks, which could be the rest of the regular season.

Burris joins fellow marquee pivots Dave Dickenson, Anthony Calvillo, Damon Allen, Buck Pierce and Michael Bishop as would-be starters who have missed significant time this season.

Most were hurt because their competitive nature prevented them from taking it easy. Bishop broke his wrist piling into the Stampeders defence in Week 3, then missed five games. Dickenson stood in the pocket to take a hit from Roughriders rush end Fred Perry and suffered a concussion. Pierce was scrambling from the Calgary defence when he was tripped up and separated his shoulder.

Nobody is suggesting quarterbacks should be exempt from getting hit, but the pivots need to protect themselves. Burris is the biggest offender in that he dives forward when scrambling instead of hook sliding. Now, the Stamps season may be taking a nose dive.

OPENING DRIVE

The Lions are 2-0 this season when their offensive line, specifically Rob Murphy, is involved in a mini-brawl on the field. B.C. opponents have to avoid letting Murphy, Jason Jimenez and now Sherko Haji-Rasouli get under their skin. The Roughriders learned the hard way, even though B.C. receiver Cory Rodgers was the only player booted after a melee Saturday in Regina. Haji-Rasouli may be facing further discipline after ripping Scott Schultz's helmet off ... The statisticians are holding Barron Miles back from getting a rare record. Miles blocked his third punt Saturday against Saskatchewan, officially recorded as his second, which should have tied him with Gerald Vaughn for most blocked kicks all-time.

ENDZONE TOSS

The Stamps have brought in an old face to fill the No. 3 role with Henry Burris on the shelf. Ben Sankey, who recently was on the Lions practice roster, arriving in Calgary on an emergency basis. Sankey has a history with Stamps offensive co-ordinator George Cortez because both were with Calgary in 2001 ... Kudos to fans in Hamilton for creating a great atmosphere and sticking around to the end of the comeback win Friday over Calgary. Late in the game, when likely less than the announced 23,115 were in Ivor Wynne Stadium, it was as loud as any CFL crowd this season.

EXTRA POINTS

Bombers RB Charles Roberts set a career low with a 1.3-yard average over six carries against Toronto. His seven total rushing yards was the lowest since his rookie season of 2001 ... The Alouettes have not lost four times in one regular season at Molson Stadium since moving there in 1998. They have one more outing there, Oct. 8 against Hamilton, before going to Olympic Stadium for their final outing to face Toronto.


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