Calgary Stampeders’ Deron Mayo (right) celebrates his sack on Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Matt Nichols with Brandon Boudreaux (98) during the first half of CFL action in Winnipeg Friday, September 25, 2015. Mayo was Calgary’s top tackler and defensive captain when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2016. After a long rehabilitation, the 29-year-old is expected to play his first game of 2017 on Friday in Vancouver against the B.C. Lions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Stampeder defensive stars Mayo, Turner back in the game after knee injuries

CALGARY — A couple of big names on the Calgary Stampeder defence are about to make their season debuts after lengthy recoveries from knee injuries.

But linebacker Deron Mayo and lineman Junior Turner expect to have to compete for their former jobs, given Calgary’s stinginess this season in allowing a league-low 145 points in seven games.

“I’d be foolish not to think that,” Mayo said Monday. “I plan on earning my spot back. Throughout my whole life, I’ve always been a hard worker and to me, it’s just another challenge.”

Mayo was Calgary’s leading tackler and defensive captain when he suffered a season-ending torn patellar tendon last Oct. 15 in a game against the Montreal Alouettes.

Turner, a Toronto native and Bishop’s University product, underwent off-season knee surgery after starting at defensive tackle in last year’s Grey Cup game.

Both men travelled long rehab roads to earn a return to the game Friday in Vancouver against the B.C. Lions.

“They’re both good players, good leaders, hard workers, guys you can count on,” Stampeder head coach Dave Dickenson said. “They’ve got to earn their playing time.”

The return of Mayo, 29, and Turner, 28, coincides with the Stampeders (5-1-1) entering a meaty section in their schedule.

Four of their next five games are against West Division opponents, including a back-to-back against the currently unbeaten Edmonton Eskimos starting Labour Day Monday.

“Just waiting until Dickie unleashes me,” Turner said. “I think after the first game, I’ll really get a feel where I’m at. I feel confident and comfortable.

“I just really want to see that first tackle, that first contact where you have bad intentions actually playing against the opposition.

“I got to get through that, get through the first game and then I think I’ll be all comfortable and all nerves put to bed.”

Mayo received guidance during his rehab from older brother Jerod, who suffered the same injury in 2014 playing for the NFL’s New England Patriots.

“It’s been like 10 months of rehab,” Mayo said. “It’s been pretty brutal, mentally, psychologically, emotionally.

“I’m glad to finally at least be out here running around with the team and be off the six-game (injured list). I’m also happy with the fact that our team’s been winning games.

“There has been times where I’ve sort of doubted how strong my knee will actually get, how fast I’ll actually run. Now I’m sort of past the point, where I know I can get back to where I was.”

Calgary is coming off a bye week while the Lions (5-3) have short prep following Sunday’s 41-8 loss on the road to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

“They definitely didn’t have their best, so they’ll be ready,” Dickenson said. “Certainly they’ll be motivated.”

The Stampeders scored a combined 101 points in a pair of wins over the East Division’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Toronto Argonauts prior to their bye. Dickenson hopes his team picks up where they left off.

“What happens in the bye week is you catch up on injuries and your body feels better, but you get out of your schedule and out of your rhythm,” the coach said.

“We were playing real well before the bye, so we need to get back to that.”

Just Posted

Clinton says Dem’s surprise win in Alabama a ‘turning point’ against Trump

VANCOUVER — Hillary Clinton says the Democratic party’s surprise win in Alabama… Continue reading

Playing long game, new NDP leader Singh says of poor byelection showing

OTTAWA — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh isn’t reading too much into his… Continue reading

Unidentified buyer found for Toronto house where future princess lived

TORONTO — A buyer has been found for the Toronto house where… Continue reading

Women raising alarm about BBQ brushes

Beverly Smith’s ended up in an operating room after wire bristle pierced her bowel

Ban barbecue brushes: doctor

Brushes pose a health risk because wire bristles can get ingested

WATCH: Red Deer Royals nearing 50 years

The Red Deer Royals are a second family to Elise Bluett. The… Continue reading

Expect cooler temperatures and ‘dusting of snow’ this Christmas

Red Deer recorded a high temperature on Tuesday

Bed shortage means no mental reviews done yet on accused Edmonton attacker

A man accused of attempted murder after a police officer was hit… Continue reading

Update: Police release photo of suspected vehicle involved in fatal

Motorist dies near Ponoka after loose tire collides with vehicle near Ponoka

Notley criticizes MLA who fired staffer after sex harassment complaint

Notley says if Jason Nixon was her house leader he’d be out of a job immediately.

Red Deer needs to find a solution to syringe debris: city manager

City will consider the problem during the 2018 operating budget talks

WestJet Christmas video turns children’s wishes into reality

This year’s annual video took a new spin on the 12 days of Christmas

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer Dec. 10

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month