On Tuesday, the Calgary Stampeders looked as if they might have an issue on their hands if another one of their Canadian receivers got hurt.
A day later, they had a little insurance.
The Stampeders moved to remove Juwan Brescacin from the six-game injured list, and the 24-year-old was back practising with his teammates on Wednesday morning at McMahon Stadium.
Brescacin has been out since the Stamps Week 4 loss to the host Montreal Alouettes and provides cover for a team that recently lost fellow Canadian pass-catcher Lemar Durant for the CFL season.
According to Red & White head coach Dave Dickenson, Brescacin’s ready to play, although it’s unclear whether he’ll be included on the active roster for Friday’s game against the B.C. Lions in Vancouver (8:30 p.m., TSN/News Talk 770).
“He’s good to go,” Dickenson said. “I thought he practised well. We just have to make a decision on how many receivers we’re going to us, but he’s good to go.”
With Durant out and Brescacin thought to be a couple weeks away from returning, the Stampeders looked like they were entering Friday’s game with veterans Anthony Parker and Rory Kohlert, and rookie Julan Lynch possibly in the mix as well.
Brescacin provides some solid cover and is someone who the Stampeders coaching staff believes can make a serious impact moving forward.
Through four games, the native of Mississauga, Ont., has three receptions for 31 yards this season.
After skipping Tuesday’s practice due to soreness in his knee, Deron Mayo was back out on the McMahon Stadium field with his teammates Wednesday.
Will he play for the first time this season come Friday night?
Neither Mayo or Dickenson was committing one way or the other.
“He’s back out there today — we’re going to have a meeting. I’ve got to decide that,” Dickenson said Wednesday of Mayo’s status. “I’m not sure, but I will play it smart. He wants to play, but I’ll decide that.”
It’s understandable that Mayo is feeling desperate to get back on the field. He led the Stampeders in tackles last season but missed the final two games of the season and all of the playoffs after tearing his patella tendon.
But Mayo admitted his knee was sore after Wednesday’s practice and seems to understand that he couldn’t rush his recovery.
“It’s been a long time — it’s been almost 10 months,” Mayo said. “All the work you put in, it’s the culmination of everyone’s efforts to get you back, so that’ll all come together when I do play my first game, whether it’s this week, next week or a few weeks down the road.”
ON HIS WAY
Quinn Smith was taken off the six-game injured list and added to the practice roster prior to the Stamps game against the Toronto Argonauts two weeks ago, but the Stampeders don’t appear to be rushing him back into the action.
Smith has been switched from the defensive line to the offensive line this season, and without a training camp under his belt, it’s possible that it will take some time for him to get fully integrated into the active roster.
“Pretty close — I think obviously if it was playoff time, I’d be ready to go,” said Smith, who had off-season surgery. “It’s a long season, so I’ve got to be careful, but I think within the next week or two, I should hopefully be on the field. That’s the goal for me, but I’m getting close.”
Smith has played on the offensive line before, but it was always in emergency situations when other o-lineman were hurt.
This year, the expectations are much higher.
“He’s brand new,” said Stamps offensive line coach Pat Delmonaco. “When he was coming in there, just like (Junior Turner), they come in and we sort of run a real simple down package to protect them and to make sure we don’t expose them.
“With Quinn, he gets the whole gamut. He’s just like one of the other o-linemen.
“He’s learning a lot, and he’s coming along well.”