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Esks will test backups

With roster spots instead of points on the line, the Calgary Stampederswon’t get a crack at Ricky Ray against the Edmonton Eskimos at McMahonStadium tonight in the first pre-season game for both teams.


With roster spots instead of points on the line, the Calgary Stampeders won’t get a crack at Ricky Ray against the Edmonton Eskimos at McMahon Stadium tonight in the first pre-season game for both teams.

With Ray coming off shoulder surgery and secure as Danny Maciocia’s starting quarterback, it’ll be a battle of the back-ups as Stefan LeFors and Jason Maas will run the offence against the Stamps.

Ray, who missed the final five games of last season, will see his first game action Thursday against Saskatchewan at Commonwealth Stadium as a tune-up for the season-opener in Regina June 28.

With Maciocia touting a two-backup system — based on the situation as opposed to having a No. 2 and No. 3 pecking order — LeFors and Maas, back in the fold after two seasons away, will be around when the season starts.

LeFors, who started the last five games of 2007 after Ray went down, will start tonight. Maas, the sharper of the two in camp, will relieve him.

GETTING A REST

Three injured receivers with an inside track for roster spots won’t play against the Stamps as Jason Tucker (back spasms), Kamau Peterson (knee) and rookie Kelly Campbell (quadriceps) will get the night off. That’ll give Maciocia a chance to assess rookies Jermaine Jamison and Kevin Challenger.

Likewise, veteran offensive lineman Dan Comiskey will be a healthy scratch so the coaching staff can get a longer look at hopefuls vying for back-up spots.

Said Maciocia: “Clearly, everybody wants to win a football game, but we want to make sure we have a good feel for some of the guys we brought in here and have been hard at it the last little while and get an evaluation of where they’re at.”

AROUND THE GRID

Defensive end Brandon Guillory will play, marking his return to game action for the first time since he suffered a spinal cord contusion at McMahon Stadium in pre-season a year ago ... while there’s likely to be cuts before Thursday’s tilt against Saskatchewan, the Eskimos don’t have to declare their 46-man roster until the season opener.

– In a decade covering the Edmonton Oilers, Robin Brownlee has been the news-breaker and insightful voice for hockey fans in Oil Country.

 
 
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