Fourteen days ago the Edmonton Eskimos suffered their first loss of the young 2019 CFL season. On Thursday, the Eskimos return to action off their bye week to visit the B.C. Lions at B.C. Place in Vancouver.
The Eskimos fell 28-21 on the road to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on June 27, seeing their record fall to 2-1.
Despite producing over 400 yards of offence and dominating time of possession, the Eskimos settled for seven field goals from Sean Whyte, which is now a new team record. Quarterback Trevor Harris passed for 345 yards in the loss and lead the league in average passing yards per game with 362.
Harris has 1,086 passing yards, which leaves him third in the CFL behind the Lions Mike Reilly (1,099), and Hamilton Tiger-Cats quarterback Jeremiah Masoli (1,325).
The Eskimos and Lions met back on June 21 in Edmonton with the Eskimos winning 39-23. A win by the Eskimos on Thursday night would mean they would capture the season series with one game remaining between the two on Oct. 12 in Edmonton.
Last season, the Eskimos lost the season series to the Lions, which played a factor in the Eskimos missing the playoffs.
Listen below: Eskimos head coach Jason Maas says even though it’s only the fourth game of the season, Thursday’s game has a very important reward if his team is able to win
Lineup changes for the Eskimos include the season debut for receiver DaVaris Daniels, who was a high-profile free-agent signing coming over from the Calgary Stampeders. Daniels missed the first three games as he worked his way back from an injury suffered in training camp and says it was tough to watch.
“It was difficult just because I was itching for so long and having to sit back and watch and to take some more time was a little painful,” Daniels said.
“I believe in my teammates and I believe in my guys. I knew they would come out and put forth a good effort. We’re 2-1 for a reason, we’re hitting the right strides and going in the right direction for sure.”
Daniels has yet to play a full season during his three previous seasons with the Stampeders, but has averaged 66 yards per game and scored 20 touchdowns in 36 games played.
Offensive lineman Jacob Ruby returns to start at left guard after missing the game two weeks ago in Winnipeg.
Linebacker Christophe Mulumba-Tshimanga has been activated off the six-game injured list and added to the active roster.
Defensive end Alex Bazzie will make his first appearance on the active roster after spending the first three games on the one-game injured list.
Coming off the active roster are offensive lineman Travis Bond and receiver Shai Ross, who have been placed on the team’s practice roster. Linebacker Blair Smith has been placed on the team’s six-game injured list.
The following is the projected offensive and defensive starters for the Eskimos:
Quarterback: Trevor Harris
Running back: C.J. Gable (Fullback: Calvin McCarty)
Offensive line: Tommie Draheim, Jacob Ruby, David Beard, Matt O’Donnell, Colin Kelly
Receivers: DaVaris Daniels, Ricky Collins Jr., Natey Adjei, Greg Ellingson, Kenny Stafford
Defensive line: Kwaku Boateng, Almondo Sewell, Mike Moore, Nick Usher
Linebackers: Vontae Diggs, Larry Dean, Brian Walker
Defensive backs: Josh Johnson, Tyquwan Glass, Jordan Hoover, Forrest Highttower, Arjen Colquhoun
The Lions won their first game of the season last week in a 18-17 win over the Toronto Argonauts to improve to 1-3 on the season.
The Lions won in the oddest of ways last week, winning via a single point off of a missed field goal attempt.
The Lions have been moving the ball better on offence over their last two games led by quarterback Mike Reilly averaging 439 yards of offence.
The Lions averaged just 235 net yards of offence in the first two games of the season. Defensive end Odell Willis is on the verge of a career milestone, sitting one quarterback sack away from 100 in his career. He would become the 12th player in CFL history to achieve that feat.
Listen below: B.C. Lions running back John White discusses the game against the Eskimos and what he sees from Lions QB Mike Reilly
You can catch Thursday night’s game between the Eskimos and Lions on 630 CHED starting with Countdown to Kick-off at 6 p.m. The opening kickoff from B.C. Place is at 8 p.m. with Morley Scott and Dave Campbell calling all of the live action. Plus, hear analysis from former Eskimos offensive lineman and two-time Grey Cup champion Blake Dermott.
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