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Stampeders hopeful to have Mitchell, Arbuckle vs. Alouettes

Last Updated Aug 16, 2019 at 8:34 am MDT

Calgary Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson, left, talks with quarterbacks Nick Arbuckle, centre, and Bo Levi Mitchell during a team practice. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

CALGARY — Dave Dickenson hasn’t given up on having both Bo Levi Mitchell and Nick Arbuckle available Saturday night when the Calgary Stampeders host the Montreal Alouettes.

Mitchell watched practice Thursday while Arbuckle was a partial participant due to elbow tightness. That left third-stringer Montell Cozart, a second-year player with just one CFL pass attempt, to handle the majority of snaps.

“Both guys kind of observed, just, unfortunately, a little bit of stiffness,” Dickenson said of his two quarterbacks. “We definitely weren’t able to really get what we wanted out of the practice because neither guy felt like the arm was feeling that great.

“I’m hopeful both will be there but, yeah, that was certainly not what I was looking forward to today. Nothing I don’t think major with any of them but both complained of a little bit of stiffness so I just can’t risk it right now. I’ve got to make sure they’re as healthy as possible for the game.”

Mitchell practiced Tuesday but didn’t throw Wednesday due to soreness. The CFL’s outstanding player and Grey Cup MVP last season missed six games with a torn pectoral muscle.

READ MORE: Calgary quarterback highlights 2018 CFL All-Star team

Arbuckle has gone 4-2 as Calgary’s starter since Mitchell’s injury. Dickenson hasn’t declared who’ll start Saturday night but didn’t believe Arbuckle’s ailment would keep him out of the lineup.

“I think there’s not a huge chance but I’m really kind of hoping both are ready,” he said. “As a quarterback, it’s so dicey when you’re talking stiffness so I’m going to let it play out.

“Like I said it wasn’t the exact practice but it did give us a chance for Montell to get in there. We’ve just got to prepare. Whoever’s playing, though, needs to play well. It’s going to be an extremely tough challenge against Montreal.”

Dickenson was pleased with how Cozart performed.

“I thought he did some good things,” Dickenson said. “You’re not going to get your third guy a lot of reps but it was helpful for him to get in live situations, run no-huddle a couple of times.

“If he needs to play, hopefully, he plays well.”

Calgary (5-3) is tied with Saskatchewan and Edmonton for second in the West Division. Montreal (3-4) stands second in the East Division.