CALGARY — Stampeders running back Jon Cornish missed a second day of practice on Tuesday and head coach/general manager John Hufnagel remains uncertain about the two-time rushing champion’s availability for Saturday’s game in Toronto.
Cornish is going through concussion protocol testing after taking a hard, high tackle from Montreal’s Kyries Hebert in the Stamps’ season-opening win on June 28.
“The update is that he really hasn’t made any progress,” said Hufnagel. “He’s still having a few headaches — with the blood pressure going up because of the cardio (exercise), he’s getting some headaches. That’s where he is right now. It’s a day-by-day thing.”
If Cornish is unavailable, the Stamps will turn to the tandem of former Roughrider Jock Sanders and University of Calgary Dinos product Matt Walter to carry the ball.
“I said it many times in the off-season,” said Hufnagel. “One of the reasons we wanted to acquire Jock is that if Jon did get nicked early in the game or if he missed a game or two, we’d be able to survive without changing the ratio with Matt Walter and Jock Sanders. Matt Walter has done everything we’ve asked of him and I’m sure he’s waiting for this opportunity.”
The Stamps know they can survive without Cornish if it comes to that — last season, Cornish sat out the game in Toronto and the combination of Jonathan Williams and Walter helped the Stamps accumulate 177 rushing yards and roll to a 35-14 victory.
Calgary also has far too much experience dealing with injuries to key starters.
“You can’t allow it to faze you,” shrugged Hufnagel. “It’s part of the game of football. It’s part of any sport. Hopefully, you have the depth in the locker room and in the meeting room and on the field that you can survive it.