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Running back William Stanback returns as Alouettes host Redblacks

Nov 6, 2021; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Montreal Alouettes quarterback Trevor Harris (17) hands the ball off to Montreal Alouettes running back William Stanback (31) during the 2nd quarter against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers during a Canadian football League game at IG Field. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sport
Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Alouettes expect tailback William Stanback to return Monday afternoon as they try to clinch a home playoff date with a win over the visiting Ottawa Redblacks.

Stanback, the CFL’s leading rusher in 2021, suffered a fractured ankle in the opening game of the season June 9.

“It’s exciting,” Stanback said after practice on Saturday. “That’s the same word I use all the time. It’s a blessing to be back, getting the first-team reps. Every day, I’m building my confidence. I know what I’m capable of. My team knows what I can do and bring to the table. It’s just about me having that confidence going into the game.”

The Alouettes (7-7) are on a season-best three-game winning streak with victories in five of their past six. A win over Ottawa (3-11) would mean Montreal could finish no worse than second in the East Division.

With Montreal playing two games in five days against Ottawa, Stanback will be used prudently on Monday, the Canadian Thanksgiving. General manager and interim head coach Danny Maciocia expects him to be on the field for about 15 to 20 plays.

Ottawa has lost three straight since a 38-24 victory at Montreal on Sept. 2.

Ottawa fired coach Paul LaPolice Oct. 1 and replaced him with special teams coordinator Bob Dyce.

“I told the guys to come into practice with great energy and enthusiasm, so, when they’re on the field, they’re playing fast and playing hard,” Dyce said. “Then we go inside and, if there are errors, we correct them, and, if there are positive things, we’ll build on those.”

“The energy has definitely been turned up in practice, I’m sure that’ll help,” Redblacks quarterback Nick Arbuckle said. “But being the most energetic team in the world doesn’t win games by itself. It’s the team that executes the best.”

The Alouettes are at full strength. The Redblacks will be without running back DeVonte Williams (head), defensive lineman Davon Coleman (foot), linebackers Frankie Griffin (shoulder) and Tyron Vrede (elbow), and offensive lineman Ucambre Williams (elbow/knee).

–Field Level Media

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