‘Too many people are hurt’: Dave Dickenson calls out Stampeders’ players for not ‘taking care’ of their bodies

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Calgary Stampeders’ head coach Dave Dickenson is growing frustrated with the size of his injured list, and he believes the fault lies with his players.

“We had a couple more guys with supposedly tweaked muscles. As a team, we’re not really showing that we’re taking care of our bodies,” Dickenson told reporters on Friday. “That’s got to be addressed because too many people are hurt.”

The Stampeders have been plagued by injuries all season, with 12 players stashed on the six-game injured list as of last week. While several could be healthy enough to return to the lineup in Week 8, including defensive back Nick Taylor and offensive tackle Josh Coker, at least four new players have been ruled out for Sunday’s matchup with the Montreal Alouettes.

Defensive end James Vaughters (arm), cornerback Tre Roberson (head), defensive back Natrell Jamerson (shoulder), and receiver Cole Tucker (foot) will all be sidelined. They join a list of missing impact players that already includes running back Ka’Deem Carey, returner Peyton Logan, and receivers Malik Henry and Jalen Philpot.

While many of those players suffered serious in-game injuries, others have tweaked themselves in practice or seen minor ailments deteriorate. In total, seven players were listed as questionable on the team’s injury report on Friday, all of whom practiced fully at some stage this week.

In the eyes of Dickenson, that is an indication of a lack of dedication to their craft.

“I want more work on the days off. I don’t know, to me, professional football is a seven days a week job. Because of the CFL and our facility, we probably don’t have as big a weight room as some, but you’ve got to get with the trainers and you’ve got to get your body right,” the coach said.

“You’ve got to eat right; sleep is probably important as well. I’m not an expert on this stuff, but I feel like with a lot of soft tissue injuries either we’re unlucky — it is a little cool out here — or we’re not doing the right things as a staff and as players to take care of our bodies.”

Dickenson already called his team to task following last week’s overtime loss to the Ottawa Redblacks, warning that changes could be made to the roster if the results on the field don’t change. In a sport where the best ability is availability, those unable to practice or play with minor injuries could be some of the first players on the chopping block.

Ahead of the team’s depth chart release on Saturday, only one body listed as questionable got a pass from the head coach: receiver Reggie Begelton.

“Reggie’s just sick. We have had a bug run through our entire team this week,” Dickenson said. “The O-line started it, some DBs, and now we’ve got the skill positions going, so hopefully he’s ready. I haven’t talked to him but fully expect Reggie to be ready to go.”

The Stampeders (2-4) will visit the Alouettes (2-3) on Sunday, July 30 at 7:00 p.m. EDT.

J.C. Abbott is a University of British Columbia graduate and high school football coach. He covers the CFL, B.C. Lions, CFL Draft and the three-down league's Global initiative.