EDMONTON — In many ways it’s fitting — another game, another injury in the Calgary Stampeders receiving corps.
The Stamps chose to hold their final full practice before Sunday’s Grey Cup outside at Commonwealth Stadium rather than inside at the University of Alberta and they paid a price.
Head coach Dave Dickenson said receiver Markeith Ambles, who caught four touchdowns in six games as he filled in for other injured Stamps down the stretch, was stepped on in Friday’s training session and won’t go Sunday.
“He’s disappointed — he thinks he can go,” Dickenson said after Saturday’s final walk-through before the final against the Ottawa Redblacks. “It’s just one of those things you kind of go with your gut.”
With Ambles out, veteran Bakari Grant gets another shot at winning a Grey Cup. He’s appeared in the big game three times before, but doesn’t like to talk about his record.
“My fingers are empty so it would be nice to take one home,” Grant said.
Grant was out of football after being cut by Saskatchewan before the start of the season. He signed with Calgary in the middle of October in large part for the opportunity he will get on Sunday.
“The longer you are around this game, the less crazy things seem so I wouldn’t call it crazy,” he said.
“At the end of the day, everybody knows when I signed, we were in a good position to take first place and … if you take first place you are a win away from this game so that played a big part in it.”
Injuries have made for a revolving door at receiver this year in Calgary.
Kamar Jorden, Marken Michel and Reggie Begelton all went down with season-ending injuries while DaVaris Daniels missed the last part of the season after breaking his collarbone.
“Our receiving corps — I don’t know — we’ve just got to get to 2019 because it seems like if you are a receiver you don’t want to be part of our group because you are going to get hurt,” Dickenson said.
Daniels will be back Sunday. The head coach said he could have played in the West final last week, but the decision was made to hold him back.
Eric Rogers, who caught three touchdown passes Sunday in the West final victory but missed time in that game with a bad knee, will also go.
“No one is 100 per cent, but the knee is good enough to play so I will be out there playing,” he said. “I will make it work no matter what.”
Ottawa Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell said the changing personnel does make for challenges on defence.
“A little bit, but they have their system in place and they have had the same group of coaches for so long and they kind of just do what they do and they plug and play guys,” Campbell said.
“They always end up with good players and they are always going to be difficult to stop.”