September 4, 2007
Ouch, this hurtsAiling Eskimos secondary takes another hit with Williams out
By JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media
This is getting ridiculous.
The Edmonton Eskimos currently have just three healthy defensive backs - not including safeties J.R. LaRose and Will Loftus.
The injury list now features Omarr Morgan (hamstring), Stanford Samuels (foot), Jonte Buhl (wrist) and Lenny Williams (knee).
Williams is the latest addition after watching Calgary Stampeder Shannon James hammer into his left knee on a kickoff return in the second quarter yesterday afternoon.
There is no word on the exact injury. There is also no word on how long he could be out, although there are fears it could be a lengthy hiatus.
But Williams is clearly unhappy with the hit.
"We are playing football. You've got to get the guy down the best way you can," said Williams. "But personally, a guy my size I am going to take him up top. I am just going to leave it at that."
Williams is listed at 5-10 and 188 pounds, but he played much bigger than that yesterday.
He made a great interception in the second quarter, allowing Edmonton to score a touchdown two plays later.
"Last (game) in the rain I dropped one that hit me dead in my chest," continued Williams, referring to the Saskatchewan tilt.
"That was just one way to try and redeem myself."
The Eskimos rookie also had a very promising 32-yard kickoff return early in the game.
"I haven't played in a year," said Williams, who came from the NFL, with a stop in NFL Europe.
"It was only a matter of time before my play started to pick up. Unfortunately, you have injuries when you play football."
Listening to Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia's dejected tone, this could be a significant knee injury.
"Lenny Williams is a good football player and he will be out for an extended period of time, I think," said Maciocia.
So, the Esks certainly hope Samuels or Morgan - or both - can get off the injured list by Friday night's rematch at Commonwealth Stadium.
At the moment, first-year Eskimos Chris Thompson, Jason Flowers and Jason Goss are the only healthy players who naturally play cornerback or halfback.
Short yardage ...
In possibly the turning point of the game, T.J. Acree experienced a first in his professional career.
Never before had the Eskimos receiver watched the ball be punched out his grasp while sprinting toward the end zone.
Brandon Browner knocked it loose in the fourth quarter, erasing a 60-yard catch and killing a chance to have Edmonton scrimmage from Calgary's 15-yard line trailing 32-21.
"He had a better jump start than I thought," said Acree.
"I just let him catch me.
"I was trying to run fast instead (of protecting the ball)."
"LENNY WILLIAMS IS A GOOD FOOTBALL PLAYER AND HE WILL BE OUT FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME, I THINK."
ESKS COACH DANNY MACIOCIA
Chris Thompson, Esks
Completely bombed in his first game with the Esks. He slipped on one TD route early in the game and then totally lost Ryan Thelwell on a 57-yard TD route in the second half.
WHY ESKS LOST
A secondary ravaged by injuries before and during the game couldn't contain Henry Burris and Ryan Thelwell. And the Edmonton offence disappeared in the second half.
LENNY WILLIAMS, EDM DB
The rookie makes a great interception in the second quarter - his first of the year with the Esks. Giving Edmonton the ball on Calgary's 34-yard line, the Esks scored a TD two plays later to make it 15-7.
BRANDON BROWNER, CAL DB
In a clear example of a massive brain cramp, Browner flattens Eskimos kicker Sean Fleming on a field-goal attempt in the second quarter. After hitting the ball, Fleming stood around for two seconds before being belted. Fleming got another chance at the kick because of the Browner penalty, making it from the 22-yard line.
BIG HIT # 2
CALVIN MCCARTY, EDM
The rookie smacks right into Calgary returner Marcus Howell on punt coverage in the third quarter - drawing raves from press box row.
The two import tailback experiment is over with the Esks. Ron McClendon became a healthy scratch yesterday, leaving Tyler Ebell as the only import RB on the roster. Charles Alston, Stanford Samuels and Omarr Morgan were the other members of the reserve squad ... LB Brian Clark - a key part of the Stamps' defence - was scratched before game time with a knee infection.
BY THE NUMBERS
Calgary won the season series with the Esks thanks to their second win yesterday. If the clubs are tied at the end of the year in the standings, Calgary will win the tie-breaker because of more head-to-head wins.
Edmonton is winless in the five games this season when it scores first. The Esks opened the scoring yesterday, but are 0-4-1 when scoring first.
Edmonton has lost four of its last five games.
That was Tony Tompkins's meager punt-return average in yards yesterday.
Edmonton's Labour Day record in the last nine games is 6-3.
Running back Tyler Ebell - No. 27 - didn't finish yesterday's game after re-injuring a shoulder. The talented rookie runner had just returned to the roster yesterday, healed from an earlier shoulder problem. But he believes he could have returned if time had permitted.
Calgary had 524 yards of total offence, a whopping amount compared to Edmonton's 326 yards.