The Calgary Stampeders will have star receiver Reggie Begelton and a few of his friends back in the lineup when they take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Friday.
Begelton missed Calgary’s Week 3 matchup with the Saskatchewan Roughriders with a rib injury but now returns ahead of schedule after the bye. He caught 14 passes for 182 yards through two games this season and sat second league-wide in receiving yards at the time of his injury.
The 29-year-old has recorded 257 catches for 3,508 yards and 19 touchdowns over 55 career CFL games since joining the Stampeders in 2017.
Joining Begelton in the receiving corps will be Marken Michel, who rejoined the team this week after four years in the NFL. The 2017 West Division nominee for Most Outstanding Rookie caught 72 passes for 1,215 yards and eight touchdowns in 24 games with the Stamps, prior to stints with the Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers, and Washington Commanders.
American newcomer Floyd Allen will dress behind Michel in a backup capacity, while Canadian rookie Rysen John will get his first career start.
The reshuffling of the receiving corps comes after leading target Malik Henry was placed on the six-game injured list with a ruptured Achilles that is expected to cost him the entire 2023 season. Canadians Luther Hakunavanhu (hip) and Cole Tucker have both been placed on the one-game injured list.
The team will also be making significant changes on the offensive line. Right tackle Caleb Benenoch (back) will sit out this week with an injury and will be replaced by Hugh Thornton, while left tackle D’Antne Demery has been downgraded to the practice roster in favour of third-year Canadian Bryce Bell. Veteran Jamal Campbell draws into the lineup as the sixth lineman.
Newcomer LeVante Bellamy will make his CFL debut at running back as a backup behind Dedrick Mills, as explosive change of pace back and returner Peyton Logan (hamstring) has been added to the six-game injured list. It is unclear who will handle primary return duties in his absence.
Defensively, strong-side linebacker Titus Wall and cornerback Julian Charles both return to the starting lineup after a one-week absence, as does backup defensive back Nick Statz. Defensive backs Tae Daley and Natrell Jamerson, as well as linebacker Perry Young, have been returned to the practice roster.
The Stampeders (1-2) will visit the Bombers (3-1) on Friday, July 7 at 8:30 p.m. EDT. They are currently point underdogs.