Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Stamps have had a hectic week

But can now focus on West final vs. Lions

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CALGARY -- After an eventful week, Kevin Glenn is thankful to finally be able to concentrate on football.

And he's hoping it stays that way through to Sunday when the Calgary Stampeders face the B.C. Lions in the West Division final.

"Hopefully we can and nothing else happens between today and Sunday that takes the attention off of the game," said Glenn. "With all the distractions that (have) been happening, we've kind of put them on the backburner and focused on what the real importance is and that's the football game.

"We've got a couple more days to get everything down and go out Sunday and hopefully get a win."

Glenn was unwittingly pulled into what was a dramatic week for the Stampeders. It began with questions whether starter Drew Tate suffered a concussion in Calgary's 36-30 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the West Division semifinal Sunday.

On Wednesday, the CFL fined Calgary slotback Nik Lewis for violating the league's social media policy. It came after Lewis tweeted: "I just bought OJ's gloves on eBay. Now all I need is a white girl named Nicole."

Also on Thursday came news that Tate had suffered a season-ending fractured forearm against Saskatchewan. Once again that gave the starting position to Glenn, who guided the Stampeders to nine wins in 14 games after Tate went down with a shoulder injury earlier this year.

Calgary acquired Glenn, a 12-year veteran, in an off-season deal that sent former starter Henry Burris to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Receiver Maurice Price said Glenn can make a seamless transition back into the starting role.

"Glenn has pretty much been the guy all year," Price said. "There's really no adjustment that has got to be made. He's proven that he can get the job done.

"He has a great group of guys around him -- playmakers that are going to make plays and help make him successful."

Price was also elevated into a starting role in mid-October when receiver Johnny Forzani suffered a season-ending ankle injury.

"My opportunity came," Price said. "I just stepped right in. I guess I've been doing good ever since. I just want to keep that going."

Calgary received more bad news Friday, when head coach and general manager John Hufnagel called middle linebacker Juwan Simpson "doubtful" for Sunday's game.

"He's been fighting the ankle (injury) for a little while, but he re-aggravated it in the game (against Saskatchewan)," Hufnagel said.

Wearing a walking boot on his right leg, Simpson hasn't practised all week. But he said there's still an outside chance that he could play Sunday.

"I'm still not comfortable today, so I'm just going to play it by ear," he said. "I've still got some time."

If Simpson can't play, rookie linebacker Deron Mayo will get the start.

"He's probably one of the fastest guys on the defence," defensive back Keon Raymond said of Mayo. "Anything he lacks in knowledge, he'll definitely make up in speed."

Hufnagel has also liked what he has seen from Mayo this season.

"He's played a lot of football in our different types of packages, so it's not like he hasn't been on the field all year long," Hufnagel said. "He's played numerous snaps.

"He's looking forward to it... He'll get the job done."

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 17, 2012 C2

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