The Baltimore Stallions released rookie offensive lineman John James yesterday after he refused to sign a practice roster contract.
James, 6 feet 3, 300 pounds, began the season on the practice squad before injuries helped create an opening for him on the active roster. He went on to start seven games at either guard position, but had not played since spraining his right ankle against Birmingham on Sept. 9. James had begun to practice lightly last week.
"I don't know what goes through players' minds sometimes," Baltimore assistant general manager Jim Popp said. "He [James] was out a lot longer than anybody thought he would be out. There was no room for him. I told him he might go back on the active] roster next week, but that wasn't good enough."
Rookie Mark Dixon has taken over James' right guard spot for the past three weeks. Veteran John Earle is Baltimore's backup offensive lineman.
NOTES: Wide receiver Robert Clark's sprained ankle will force him to miss tomorrow's game against Saskatchewan. . . . Linebacker Matt Goodwin, who has missed two games with a pulled hamstring, will start tomorrow. That sends Maurice Gravely back to the practice squad, while Jason Bryant resumes backup duty after starting in Goodwin's place. . . .
Punter Josh Miller, who averaged 50.2 yards and scored two singles despite the high winds at Saskatchewan last week, was named a runner-up for the CFL Offensive Player of the Week.