The Ticats will be forced to juggle their line up as an injury to Canadian corner Courtney Stephen will keep him from playing in Thursday’s match up against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
With Stephen out, the Ticats will need to find another Canadian starter to meet the CFL requirement of seven. They have several options, none of them ideal:
1. use back up Canadian safety Mike Daly to play Stephen’s spot at the field corner. Daly, however, has little experience as a corner and has never played it at the CFL level.
2. bring in veteran American defensive back Brandon Stewart to play Stephen’s spot at the field corner and make a ratio adjustment elsewhere. Options would include playing Frederic Plesius at middle linebacker instead of Taylor Reed, Hasan Hasime at defensive tackle in lieu of Bryan Hall or defensive end Arnaud Gascon-Nadon for either Justin Hickman or Adrian Tracy.
3. they could also use Stewart and make the ratio adjustment on offence. Swapping receiver Matt Coates for Terrell Sinkfield is a possibility as is moving Ryan Bomben to tackle and bringing in Tim O’Neill to play guard, thereby utilizing four Canadian offensive linemen.
Whatever they decide, it will be an improvised solution: Stephen was hurt at the very end of Tuesday’s final practice in Calgary, giving the team no time to practice with a new ratio configuration.