The sight of Terrence Wilkins darting around the practice field Wednesday was a welcome scene for special teams co-ordinator Craig Dickenson.
Although Wilkins hasn't been in Calgary Stampeders camp all season, the pint-sized receiver/returner made a distinct impression with his 24-yard average on kickoff returns while always looking dangerous on punts before injuring his left knee three weeks ago.
Wilkins has demonstrated similar speed recovering from strained ligaments and the job would seem to be his when he's physically able.
Wilkins now appears capable of running back onto the roster for Sunday's game in Winnipeg, although a more prudent decision might be to keep him out of action until the regular-season finale against Edmonton Nov. 6.
"There's a chance," Dickenson agreed about the Winnipeg contest.
"He didn't look too bad and now it will come down to the training staff and coach (Tom) Higgins. Terrence was out there running around and now he's looking closer to being ready to play."
In Wilkins' absence has been newcomer David Allen, who returned four punts for just 16 yards against Saskatchewan while running back four kickoffs for 52 yards.
The output is disappointing.
"Part of it is we haven't had opportunities," Dickenson said.
"We had one (punt return) in the last game and had an assignment error which is unfortunate because the cover teams in this league are so good you can get them once but not twice."
Wilkins is anxious to get back into the lineup and said he's been turning to organic remedies to heal his wounded left knee. Although he worked out last week wearing a knee brace, Wilkins shucked the device Wednesday in favour of tape.
"I've been getting a lot of treatments and it's coming along," he said. "It's sore a little but I could play with it but it's up to the coaches to decide."
ALL HANDS ON DECK: The Stamps are remarkably healthy for this point in the season. Starting QB Henry Burris is merely wearing a splint on his left (non-throwing) thumb, seriously injured six weeks ago.
Halfback Shane Walton sat out practice earlier this week with a tender back but could play this week while linebacker George White practiced wearing a small cast on his left wrist, a remedy for what he calls "jammed up ligaments."
Burris said the hand, which forced him from the starting role for six games, has healed to the point where he removes the splint when he leaves the field.
"I can put it on and take it off," Burris said.
"I haven't worn anything on it since the game (Sunday) and I've been doing stuff without it and that's where we wanted to get to. I just put it on to practice. Now I have all the wrist movements and just wear it when I need it."