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Rambo ready to play

Ken-Yon Rambo just wants to lend a hand — two, in fact.

Ken-Yon Rambo just wants to lend a hand — two, in fact.

The Canadian Football League’s leading receiver in 2008 missed the Calgary Stampeders’ season-opening loss to the Montreal Alouettes with a nagging hamstring injury, but expects to be back catching passes Friday night in Winnipeg.

“It makes it that much harder when you can’t play and the team loses (40-27 to Montreal),” Rambo said this week.

“I wasn’t there to contribute. I wasn’t there to help out. You think to yourself ‘maybe if I had been in there things would have been different’... but we’ve all got to put that one behind us and look forward to Winnipeg now. We’ve got to think that this is a fresh start. We’ve got 17 more games to go and now I’m ready to get it going.”

Rambo might just be the guy to do it. Last season he established himself as Stamps’ quarterback Henry Burris’ go-to receiver as he led the CFL with 100 catches for 1,473 yards. Rambo caught another five passes in the Grey Cup game.

The Stampeders offence needed a spark in Week 1 as it failed to capitalize on a handful of scoring opportunities off turnovers created by the special teams unit. Most of the blame for lack of execution fell on Burris’ shoulders, but the return of a healthy Rambo could be just what the doctor ordered for the ailing offence.

The Stamps also hope to see offensive linemen Jeff Pilon and Jesse Newman return to the lineup after also missing the season-opener with injuries. The added pass protection is another welcome addition for Burris, who was hurried by an aggressive pass rush in Week 1.