Lions linebacker ready to return

HOSEA CHEUNG, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:00 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Missing two games with an ankle injury has given Anton McKenzie a different perspective on the B.C. Lions defence, and he likes what he sees.

"You always learn more when you sit on the sidelines and watch and look at what's going on on the field," said the linebacker. "We play hard, we play together. We have a fast defence and we use that to our advantage."

The second-year Lion is expected to return this Friday to a defence which has only allowed 21.8 points against per game (second best overall) and replace the injured Solomon Elimimian (ankle), who filled in for McKenzie when he first went down.

The roster exchange is somewhat bittersweet, considering the impressive play by the rookie over the past two games.

"Solomon played unbelievable when I was out," McKenzie said. "He's playing a heck of a game and it's too bad that he's hurt and now both of us can't be on the field together."

With Trestin George slotting into the lineup to replace cornerback Dante Marsh (groin) and defensive tackle Steve Williams most likely starting for the first time this season, the challenge is on the defence to quickly adjust to the personnel changes.

"We make our mistakes here [at practice] but we go and get it right at game time," said McKenzie. "We change things up a little bit but we're keeping the same mentality on the field, stopping the run, hitting [Edmonton Eskimos QB] Ricky Ray."

Echoed George, who is playing in his first game since October 2009: "I have to keep up with what we've been going on and what we've been doing and basically try not to miss a beat at all."


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