Bertrand will have to watch record at home

GERRY PRINCE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 6:33 AM ET

As kids growing up in suburban Montreal, Gilles Lezi and Mathieu Bertrand watched Mike Pringle rush for a lot of yards on TV or during the occasional trip to Molson Stadium. This season the rookie Edmonton Eskimos fullbacks were throwing blocks for Pringle, who now needs just two yards to eclipse George Reed's all-time CFL career record of 16,116 yards.

But Bertrand suffered a concussion in last Friday's game versus Calgary and won't be at B.C. Place when Pringle gets the yardage he needs to pass Reed tomorrow night.

"I can take some consolation in the fact that I was pretty much the only guy blocking for Mike in the last three games," sighed Bertrand, who will watch Pringle and his teammates battle the B.C. Lions on television.

"Things went pretty good in those games and I can still say that I had a part in him getting the record. However, I came to Edmonton to play football and when I'm not on the field, I don't feel as useful."

With the six-foot-two, 242-pound Bertrand on the shelf, Lezi moves into his spot this week after sitting out the last three games after an abscessed tooth landed him in the intensive care unit.

Although his dental woes are behind him, the left side of Lezi's face is still a little swollen and eating remains a challenge.

Unlike Bertrand, Lezi will have a ringside seat for Pringle's record-breaking rush - one way or the other.

"It would be fun to be on the field," he said. "I have contributed during the season and even if I'm not on the field, I'll be happy anyway.

"I used to watch TV and think about that moment and wonder when it would happen. Still, I'm just happy to be playing. It's been three games and I was getting a little anxious."

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Wide receiver Brock Ralph (bruised quad) and defensive lineman Jabari Issa (healthy scratch) are the other Esks coming off the 40-man roster for tomorrow's game. Fellow non-import Scott Robinson takes over from Ralph in the receiving corps, while Issa surrenders his roster spot to defensive back Donny Brady. With rookie DB Maha Atogwe nursing a groin pull, the Esks have elected to keep Steven Marsh around this week and with Brady have seven men available for duty in the secondary.


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