Stamps notes: McDaniel returning from injury just in time

 

Receiver feels ‘blessed’ to be back on the field at all this season

 
 
 
 
Calgary Stampeders slot back Marquay McDaniel, left, faced off against linebacker Akeem Whonder as they practiced with the team in advance of Friday’s game at the B.C. Lions.
 

Calgary Stampeders slot back Marquay McDaniel, left, faced off against linebacker Akeem Whonder as they practiced with the team in advance of Friday’s game at the B.C. Lions.

Photograph by: Colleen De Neve, Calgary Herald

As Marquay McDaniel puts the finishing touches on his return to the playing field this weekend, after a long seven-week stretch, he still considers himself lucky.

“I feel blessed,” the Calgary Stampeder receiver insisted. “My season could be over. You see guys with lower body injuries. It’s not my knee, it’s not my foot, that would hurt a little bit more playing receiver, trying to come back from it. Last year I missed the playoff game. At least I get to come back before the playoffs.”

McDaniel, who broke his hand on Sept. 13, will re-assume his status as Mr. Consistent for the Stamps as they close out the regular season in Vancouver against the B.C. Lions. Ironically, it was the 2013 season finale at BC Place that kept McDaniel out of the lineup for the West final, after he suffered a high ankle sprain.

“Definitely important,” he said about getting into the action prior to season’s end. “I missed six games, almost two months. You’re not just going to come back like you left. I wanted to get one under my belt, just to get the speed of the game, the reaction before that playoff game.

“It did feel good to get some rust knocked off last week. You can run routes by yourself all day, but when you get out there against a defence, it’s a little different.”

Despite playing in just 11 games, the 30-year-old continues to lead all Calgary receivers with 42 catches for 627 yards and four touchdowns.

COTE’S TD DROUGHT ENDS

When Rob Cote scored a touchdown at 3:35 of the first quarter in Saturday’s game against Winnipeg, it was the veteran fullback’s first foray into the end zone since July 5, 2013, when he notched a major score against Saskatchewan at Mosaic Field.

“It had been a while,” agreed the 28-year-old. “I feel like it’s been a long time since I had a catch. It’s been a bit of a dry spell so it was nice to get a little action.”

Cote, in his eighth season with the Stamps, has been one of the constants on offence, having missed a single game due to some nicks. But this season still isn’t as bad as he’s seen it, from an injury standpoint.

“It’s always something we have to face,” he noted. “I remember a couple of years ago, I think we had nine ACL surgeries, which is just insane. It’s the sport we play and there’s going to be changes. I’ve been battling through stuff myself this year, but you want to try and stay as consistent as you can.”

ROOKIE DISAPPOINTED AFTER INJURY

Sederrik Cunningham’s regular season came to an abrupt end on an everyday play on Saturday, but he sure wishes it weren’t so.

“I feel as if I left my team out there,” said the Stamps’ kick returner, who suffered an injured right ankle. “I’ve always been the kind of person that, I don’t want to be that guy that they say ‘oh, he packed it in early’. I definitely didn’t do that. I want to let that be known. I’ll never quit on this team. You’d have to drag me off the field.

“I just want to be ready for the next time I step on the field. I’ll do whatever they need me to do. Make sure I’m ready and 100 per cent to do it.”

Cunningham, one of the top candidates for the team’s 2014 top rookie award, will sit out the B.C. game. Incidentally, the team nominees for CFL West Division awards will be announced on Wednesday.

TATE DRAWS FRIDAY START

Stamps’ head coach/GM John Hufnagel said on Tuesday that quarterback Drew Tate will get the start against the Lions, while both Tate and Bo Levi Mitchell will get playing time. He also said that receiver Simon Charbonneau-Campeau, who was felled by a concussion three weeks ago, should be ready for the game.

Who plays and how long they play is still something that Hufnagel and his coaching staff have to deliberate.

“We’re still figuring it out. (Players will be out) obviously because of some injuries, the others ones we’ll decide tomorrow.”

 
 
 
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Calgary Stampeders slot back Marquay McDaniel, left, faced off against linebacker Akeem Whonder as they practiced with the team in advance of Friday’s game at the B.C. Lions.
 

Calgary Stampeders slot back Marquay McDaniel, left, faced off against linebacker Akeem Whonder as they practiced with the team in advance of Friday’s game at the B.C. Lions.

Photograph by: Colleen De Neve, Calgary Herald

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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