Calgary Stampeders beat Elks but lose Titus Wall to apparent long-term injury

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The Calgary Stampeders kept their season alive with a 35-31 win against the Edmonton Elks in the Labour Day Classic at McMahon Stadium but may have suffered a loss that will have far reaching consequences.

Titus Wall, who was in the running to be named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie before being injured last season, left the game with injury on Calgary’s very first defensive play and did not return.

The strong-side linebacker currently ranks second on the Stampeders with 53 defensive tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble this season and sits in the top five league-wide in total defensive plays with 70.

Compounding the injury situation for the Stampeders was Michael Griffin II, who initially filled in for Wall, also suffered an injury.

“I honestly don’t think that either one of them will be able to be back for the rematch, if at all this season,” said head coach and general manager Dave Dickenson after the game.

“The CFL has small rosters. It’s not like you come into the game with four or five backups, you have two and our guys don’t get a ton of reps. First play of the game is when it really, really hurts.”

Branden Dozier and Nick Statz filled in for Wall and Griffin, combining for eight tackles.

Dozier is the likeliest candidate to replace Wall in the starting lineup, as he played strong-side linebacker before moving to safety. However, the Stampeders will be in tough to find a defensive replacement capable of keeping Tre Ford in check on a short week.

Already near the league lead for man games lost due to injury, Calgary’s coaching staff won’t have much time to celebrate the win, and will instead have to focus on getting someone new up to speed.

Ryan Ballantine is a lifelong Stamps fan and host of the Horsemen Radio Podcast. He has been covering the team since 2008.