The Calgary Stampeders are resting a couple of key performers on both sides of the ball for their regular-season finale against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Friday, including Most Outstanding Player nominee Reggie Begelton.
The 30-year-old receiver was named the team’s selection for the CFL’s highest honour on Wednesday, after 86 passes for 1,119 yards and five touchdowns in 15 games. The key cog in the team’s passing attack will now sit out the final week to preserve his body for the West Semi-Final. Canadian Colton Hunchak will start in his place, while rookie Rysen John will dress as insurance.
Begelton isn’t the only team nominee resting this week, as Most Outstanding Canadian selection Cameron Judge will also sit out. The homegrown linebacker has quietly had a career year, collecting 90 defensive tackles, five interceptions, two sacks, two forced fumbles, and a defensive touchdown. Special teams stalwart Darius Williams will slide into Judge’s spot against Winnipeg.
Also sitting out the contest is starting running back Ka’Deem Carey, who has amassed 476 yards on 89 carries while catching 21 passes for 150 yards in nine games this year. Backup Dedrick Mills will return to the lineup after having been a healthy scratch, with 134 carries for 714 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games this season.
Calgary will be without two defensive backs not of their own volition, as Brad Muhammad (hand) and Branden Dozier (calf) have both been placed on the one-game injured list. Canadian Nick Statz will start at safety with veteran Nick Taylor moving to Muhammad’s halfback spot, while promising rookie Michael Griffin II draws back into the lineup to start at strongside linebacker.
The team will also add some depth to the defensive line for the finale, with defensive tackle Damontre Moore and defensive end Toby Ndukwe both making their Stampeders debut.
The Stampeders (6-11) will host the Bombers (13-4) on Friday, October 27 at 9:00 p.m. EDT. It will be the final regular season game for both clubs, each of which has already clinched a playoff berth. Calgary will face the B.C. Lions in next week’s West Semi-Final.