Mitchell doesn't throw, Arbuckle limited in Stamps practice

Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell smiles during practise at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Thursday August 15, 2019. Gavin Young/Postmedia Gavin Young / Postmedia

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Bo’s a likely no-go for Saturday night.

And so, too — quite possibly — is his backup.

At least, that was the takeaway from Thursday’s practice at McMahon Stadium, where the quarterback taking the most reps for the Calgary Stampeders was third-stringer Montell Cozart.

Superstar helmsman Bo Levi Mitchell didn’t throw a ball during the session, while Nick Arbuckle’s reps were limited.

“Both complained about a little bit of stiffness, so I just can’t risk it right now,” said Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson.

“Nothing major, I don’t think, with either of them. I’ve got to make sure they’re as healthy as possible for the game (Saturday).”

That’s when the Stampeders (5-3) welcome the Montreal Alouettes (3-4) to McMahon Stadium (5 p.m., TSN/News Talk 770 CHQR).

“Both guys kind of observed,” said Dickenson of Thursday’s practice. “Just unfortunately a little bit of stiffness.

“We definitely weren’t able to really get what we wanted out of practice because neither guy felt like their arm was feeling that great. I’m hopeful both will be there (Saturday).”

Of course, Mitchell’s been sidelined since Week 3 of the CFL’s regular season after tearing his pectoral muscle. He also underwent a procedure to have a cyst reduced in that area.

The Stampeders continue to insist that he could be available to play the Alouettes, but at this point, that’s obviously unlikely.

That despite targeting Saturday’s game against as his return date after spending six weeks on the injured list.

In his absence, Arbuckle has managed the game well, putting up a 4-2 record to help keep the Stampeders in the race for top spot in the West Division.

But elbow tightness dramatically reduced the number of snaps taken by the team’s most recent starter Thursday.

“There’s not a huge chance (Arbuckle) will miss the game,” Dickenson said. “But I’m really kind of hoping both are ready. Quarterback is so dicey when you’re talking stiffness. So I’m going to let it play out.

“But it did give us a chance for Montell to get in there.”

So could it be Cozart come Saturday.

Montell Cozart?

The 24-year-old native of Kansas City, Mo., joined the Stamps last August and suited up as the No. 3 quarterback for the regular season’s remaining 11 games as well as the west final and the Grey Cup.

“I’ve been in that position (as the No. 3 QB in practice),” Dickenson said. “Way more fun (when you get more reps). Practice goes faster. You get something out of it when you’re in there. When you’re not practising, the practices are long.

“I thought he did some good things,” Dickenson continued. “You’re not usually going to get your third guy a lot of reps, but it was helpful for him to get into live situations — like run no-huddle a couple of times. If he needs to play, hopefully he plays well.”

His only CFL game action to date came against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Week 4 this season. The former NCAA Boise State Broncos star completed an 11-yard pass on his only attempt in a 37-10 Stamps rout of their rivals in Regina.

With a bye-week coming up right after Saturday’s game and the Stampeders not playing again until the Labour Day Classic on Sept. 2, sitting Mitchell against the Alouettes would give him a lot more time to recover and build up strength in his injured throwing arm.

“Whoever is playing has to play extremely well,” Dickenson added. “Because it’s going to be a tough challenge against Montreal.”


The status of WR Markeith Ambles remains up the air after twisting his ankle on Wednesday during practice … WR Josh Huff looks like he might draw into Saturday’s game to replace Ambles after a step up in reps during Thursday’s preparation day.  “Josh is ready to play and he wants to play,” Dickenson said. “It’s just a matter of whether I give him that opportunity. He did do a fair load (Thursday in practice). So he’s ready to go.”  … LB Corey Greenwood was back practising Thursday after missing Wednesday’s session with a bad back. “I think he’s fine, so that’s a good sign,” Dickenson said of his starting middle linebacker. “Just like anything else, you never know if anyone’s going to be perfectly fine, but you’re sure hoping they can perform. The backups have gotten more reps in practice. Hopefully, Corey feels like he’s got enough to see what he needs to see and he plays well.”