Stampeders visit Lions with eyes on playoff berth

The Calgary Stampeders aim to keep their playoff hopes alive on Friday when they visit the B.C. Lions in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Stampeders (5-11) are battling the reeling Saskatchewan Roughriders (6-11) for the CFL’s final playoff spot with two weeks remaining on the schedule.

Calgary can punch its ticket to the postseason for the 18th straight season with a win on Friday and a Saskatchewan loss to the defending Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts (14-2) on Saturday. The Stampeders also can make the playoffs if they win out, and that includes a stern test in the season finale against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (12-4).

“It feels good — it feels good,” linebacker Cam Judge told the Calgary Herald after the team’s 26-19 victory over the Roughriders last Friday. “The last couple of weeks we’ve been, ‘The Riders gotta lose — they gotta lose and all that.’ So now it’s just, ‘We gotta win.’ I’d rather have that.”

Judge scored off an interception against Saskatchewan to help the Stampeders snap a three-game skid.

As for the Lions (12-5), a loss to Calgary or a win by Winnipeg on Saturday against Edmonton would enable the Blue Bombers to claim the top seed in the West Division.

B.C. quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. expects to play on Friday despite sustaining a knee injury in the team’s 33-30 road victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last Friday. He completed 21 of 30 passes for 296 yards and two touchdowns.

“If he’s totally good to go and not medically compromised and can do everything he normally does then we’ll play him,” B.C. coach Rick Campbell said.

Adams was good to go in the Lions’ 25-15 road win over Calgary on June 8 and again in a 37-9 romp versus the Stampeders in Vancouver on Aug. 12. He totaled seven touchdowns (six passing, one rushing) in those contests.

While Adams and running back Taquan Mizzell (ribs) are available, the Lions will be without defensive backs Jalon Edwards-Cooper (shoulder) and Adrian Greene (shoulder) for Friday’s game.

The Stampeders ruled out defensive lineman Terrell McClain (ankle).