Als not well for Leos

DANIEL WILSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:39 AM ET

In need of a fix, the B.C. Lions leave the West behind and travel to Montreal for a tilt with the East Division-leading Alouettes (5-3).

With a 4-4 record, good for last in the West, the Lions have lost more games halfway through this campaign than they did all of last season, when they put together a franchise record 14-3-1 year.

On the plus side, the Lions are undefeated versus East Division teams. Now, if only they could get a leg up on their Western contemporaries.

When these teams last met, the Leos squeaked out a 36-34 victory, on the strength of a disputed Paris Jackson touchdown catch. The Alouettes will be looking to make the Lions pay for that triumph.

Quarterback Jarious Jackson will sit out tonight's contest with an injury to the middle finger on his throwing hand. As B.C. searches for an answer to their pivot woes - among other issues - Buck Pierce will step in behind the centre.

Also joining Jackson on the sidelines will be defensive veteran Dante Marsh (groin) and rookie receiver Clarence Coleman (calf).

Similarly, the Alouettes find themselves banged up, going into Week 10 of the CFL season. Montreal will be without defensive back Randee Drew, who's been placed on the nine-game injured list with a torn ACL in his left knee.

In time to step in for Drew in the backfield, DB Mark Estelle will make his return to the Alouettes after missing almost two months with a shoulder injury.

The Lions' greatest challenge this week could come from Als running back Avon Cobourne, who leads the league in rushing yards with 715 and has also amassed 463 yards in the air. Halfway through the season, Cobourne is on pace to become the first CFL player ever to break the 1,000 yard mark in both categories in the same year.

The Lions released non-import receiver Adam Nicholson earlier this week. Nicholson was the team's first-round draft pick in 2007, but gained a reputation for dropping passes on clutch plays through the first half of this campaign.


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