SASKATOON -- Random thoughts and observations as the Edmonton Eskimos prepare for Friday's game in Vancouver.
NOTHING TOO SMALL: LITTLE THINGS CAN GO A LONG WAY IN A CFL GAME.
Two examples came in Saturday's 36-22 Edmonton victory against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Commonwealth Stadium.
On Tristan Jackson's punt return for a touchdown, two Eskimos avoided illegal blocking penalties just a few metres from where Jackson started his 67-yard return.
One of those players was Scott Coe - who has proven to be a very good free-agent pick up earlier this season.
If the Esks had been nailed for an illegal block - wiping out the return - who knows where the game would have gone.
Jackson's touchdown put Edmonton in the lead 16-14.
The other example of perfecting the little - but important - parts of the game came from rookie Tim St. Pierre.
Required to handle every long snap after Taylor Inglis left Saturday's game in the first quarter, St. Pierre performed like a veteran in his first attempt at the role in a CFL regular-season game.
"I thought he did a phenomenal job," said punter/kicker Noel Prefontaine.
To be blunt, St. Pierre's stock in the CFL just jumped.
Long snappers who can hit the target are hard to find in the CFL.
BLOOM OF LAROSE: J.R. LAROSE IS HEADING FOR SURGERY - AS EARLY AS TODAY - FOR TWO BROKEN BONES IN ONE LEG AFTER SATURDAY'S UGLY MISHAP ON A PUNT RETURN.
The fourth-year Eskimo is facing a very long road if he's going to return to football.
A borderline player in the league right now - he was a healthy scratch in six of the last eight games entering last weekend - LaRose is facing a difficult off-season.
It will take plenty of dedication and hard work to go through rehab to get another training camp invitation.
And even if that happens, he will be buried on a depth chart when a 2009 camp starts for any CFL team.
RIGHT SAYS FRED: IN IRONIC FASHION, THE ESKS LOST LAROSE TO A BROKEN LEG ON THE SAME DAY DEFENSIVE END FRED PERRY WAS CLEARED TO RETURN TO PRACTICE AFTER RECOVERING FROM HIS BROKEN LEG.
Perry will be on the field in defensive drills when the Esks return to practice this week, Sun Media has learned.
A weak spot just two weeks ago, Edmonton's defensive end rotation of Perry, Jim Davis and Brandon Guillory looks pretty fine right now.
A starter for the first 13 games of the season, Montez Murphy's immediate future with the team now seems somewhat cloudy.
Benched for Saturday's victory, Murphy will likely be buried on the depth chart as soon as Perry returns to the active roster.
FINISH LINES: THE ESKIMOS ARE NOW CONFIRMING INGLIS SUFFERED A CONCUSSION IN THE FIRST QUARTER ON SATURDAY. HIS STATUS FOR FRIDAY'S ESKIMOS' GAME IN VANCOUVER AGAINST THE B.C. LIONS (8:30 P.M. MT, TSN, CHED) IS UNCLEAR ... RECEIVER FRED STAMPS IS EXPECTED TO PLAY FRIDAY NIGHT AFTER SUFFERING A LOWER LEG INJURY AGAINST WINNIPEG ... WINNIPEG DEFENSIVE TACKLE DOUG BROWN DESERVES CREDIT FOR NOT TAKING A DIRTY SHOT AT EDMONTON PIVOT RICKY RAY ON SATURDAY. WITH RUMBLINGS OF POSSIBLE RETRIBUTION IN THE AIR FROM THE GAME THE WEEK BEFORE, BROWN HAD A CLEAR SHOT AT RAY BUT DIDN'T SPEAR THE QUARTERBACK. HE SIMPLY THREW RAY TO THE GROUND. IT WAS A PICTURE OF LEADERSHIP AND INTELLIGENCE ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD.