Eski­mos’ in­jury trend lingers

Edmonton Journal - - SPORTS - GERRY MOD­DE­JONGE gmod­de­jonge@post­media.com Twit­ter: @Ger­ryMod­de­jonge

Chris Strev­eler may be mak­ing his first Cana­dian Foot­ball League start on Thurs­day, but things won’t look com­pletely un­fa­mil­iar to the Win­nipeg Blue Bombers quar­ter­back play­ing in place of in­jured starter Matt Nichols.

Two weeks ago, Strev­eler came in as a backup to com­plete all 10 of his pass at­tempts for 140 yards and a touch­down on the way to a 33-13 win over the Ed­mon­ton Eski­mos at In­vestors Group Field.

Ad­mit­tedly, it was a pre-sea­son game against an op­po­nent who left all but a hand­ful of starters back home.

In Thurs­day ’s sea­son opener (6:30 p.m., TSN, 630 CHED), Strev­eler will face the pocket crash­ing threat of peren­nial all-star de­fen­sive tackle Al­mondo Sewell, while mid­dle line­backer J.C. Sher­ritt will look to cut down on the quar­ter­back’s 4.45-sec­ond 40-yard­dash mo­bil­ity.

But, just like in that ear­lier ex­hi­bi­tion, Strev­eler will be throw­ing against an Eski­mos sec­ondary that will once again fea­ture but a sin­gle — al­beit dif­fer­ent — pro­jected starter.

Vet­eran safety Neil King will be sur­rounded by new­com­ers Mau­rice McKnight, in place of in­jured cor­ner­back Johnny Adams, and de­fen­sive half Nick Tay­lor, who is filling in while Aaron Grymes is away at­tend­ing to per­sonal mat­ters. Rookie Money Hunter is start­ing ahead of de­fen­sive half For­rest Hightower, who has been deal­ing with bumps and bruises, while sec­ond-year Eski­mos de­fen­sive back Jor­dan Hoover is mak­ing just his sec­ond start at cor­ner­back for the in­jured Ar­jen Colquhoun.

“They’re def­i­nitely dif­fer­ent than the guys we had pen­cilled in front of them,” said Eski­mos head coach Jason Maas. “But at the same time, I’m ex­cited to watch those guys and, as a de­fence, we’re ready to rally around them.”

Jason Maas

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