It's adjustment time for Esks

GERRY PRINCE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

Kevin Lefsrud is used to lining up at the right guard spot. Tomorrow night, however, the 27-year-old is the man in the middle for the Edmonton Eskimos at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

Lefsrud takes over at centre for veteran snapper Tim Prinsen, who missed Tuesday's practice to have his swollen left knee drained and is a scratch for the Esks at Hamilton Tiger-Cats tilt.

"We're not sure why (the knee) blew up on him," said Esks head coach Tom Higgins, who expects to have Prinsen back for the team's Thanksgiving Day date with the Montreal Alouettes. "It blew up enough that he was having trouble walking.

"Obviously, playing is not an option. He's resting a little more comfortably but is still in enough pain. At first they thought it was infected. He will have an MRI on that knee (tomorrow)."

The six-foot-four, 295-pound Lefsrud is no stranger to the position. He filled in for Bryan Chiu during one game two seasons ago and routinely played the middle of the offensive line in a mop-up capacity during his three seasons in Montreal.

"You're the one that's kind of quarterbacking the line," he said. "You're the one that's calling out the fronts. You're the one that's directing where the play is going, helping out the quarterback with calls and I also have to get the ball to the quarterback.

"It's a lot more of a mental game than it is an instinctive game."

Lefsrud figures to see a lot of former Montreal teammate Adriano Belli. Belli is one of a formidable group of Hamilton defenders which also features Joe Montford, Tim Cheatwood and Johnny Scott.

"I don't see us having too many problems," Lefsrud smiled. "They're a pretty good defence but we're a pretty good offensive line too.

"I'll be dealing with Belli and Johnny Scott. It's basically, pick your poison but it's going to be a lot of fun."

With Lefsrud snapping the ball, Glen Carson moves into the right guard spot, leaving rookie Joe McGrath to play at left tackle.

Esks quarterback Jason Maas has taken roughly 500 snaps from Prinsen this season. Maas says it all boils down to getting comfortable behind Lefsrud.

"The comfort is all that changes and you'd be lying to say it's not different," Maas said. "The feel is different but we both have to do our jobs and that's just something that comes along with it."

WELCOME ABOARD

After two weeks on the practice roster, wide receiver Scott Cloman is being added to the 40-man unit this week.

"We have a lot of different types of receivers here," offered the six-foot-three, 214-pounder, who was a late cut by the Washington Redskins.

"I think what I'll bring is a more physical presence, running after the catch, blocking, going up and getting the ball."

The good news is after sitting out the past two games with a bruised quad, non-import wide receiver Brock Ralph draws back in this week.

However, with Ed Hervey still nursing a sore knee and running back Reggie White hobbled by a hamstring injury, the Esks head coach says he hasn't got many options at this point when it comes to adding import talent.

"There's no other choices with Reggie sitting down," Higgins said. "This gives us our best shot. It was a matter of picking between Trevor (Gaylor) and Scott.

"Trevor might be a little speedier but Scott is a bigger body. I think he'll be able to do what we want him to do."

LATE HITS ...

DB Darrel Crutchfield (knee), LB Sheldon Benoit (knee) and WR Scott Robinson (healthy scratch) are the other Green and Gold players coming off the roster this week. FB Gilles Lezi and OL Devin Rodger also draw in for tomorrow's game in Steeltown.


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