Hervey takes practice off

GERRY PRINCE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:02 AM ET

Ed Hervey may still be a renegade in the minds of most Ottawa football fans.

But there's a 50-50 chance the Edmonton Eskimos wide receiver will be in the lineup this week versus the Ottawa Renegades.

In fact, Hervey and cornerback Davis Sanchez could both be scratches as the Esks head to the nation's capital for Thursday's game.

"We're going to prepare as if they're not playing," offered Esks rookie head coach Danny Maciocia before the squad hit the practice field yesterday afternoon. "We need to do that as coaches and as a football team. If for some reason they're ready to go, that's great. But you've got to prepare like you're not going to have them in your lineup."

Hervey sees the glass as half-full and is still looking forward to being booed by the Frank Clair Stadium faithful.

"I think I have a shot a playing, it could be a lot worse than it is," he explained. "I will definitely practice (today). That's the whole point of the early practice. But they'll have to prepare as if I won't be there."

After having second thoughts about signing with Ottawa in the midst of the CFL's free agent frenzy this past February, Hervey re-upped with the Esks.

LOOKED BAD

The decision left the Renegades organization with egg on its face and a whole lot of explaining to do. It also made Hervey public enemy No. 1.

Before Ottawa's visit to Commonwealth Stadium to open the season, Hervey joked about printing T-shirts with 'Ed Hervey Bash' emblazoned across the front and selling them at Thursday's game. Faced with a possible stint on the one-game injured list, it's a good thing the lanky wide out never got around to ordering the t-shirts.

"That was all a joke," said Hervey. "I'm hoping they've sold the game out and their fans are out there feeling the team is putting out an effort out there."

Although Hervey didn't turn a wheel during yesterday's practice, he was preoccupied by what was going on.

"Mentally, I was in all the huddles and I was preparing as if I were playing," Hervey said. "If I feel and look like myself (today) Danny is going to take me (to Ottawa).

"There's no tear, so it's going to be how much pain there is. It felt real bad after the game and today I'm feeling really good."

AGGRAVATED INJURY

According to Hervey, the hip flexor has more to do with an earlier knee injury than his collision with Winnipeg defender William Fields during last week's game versus the Blue Bombers.

After wearing a compression sleeve on his left knee for a month, the USC product believes the hip flexor is a function of removing the sleeve.

"When you finally get out of it, your stride extends more and the muscles aren't necessarily ready to do that," he said.

Sanchez is less optimistic about his chances of lining up Thursday. Like Hervey, the Esks defender went down in last week's win over Winnipeg. The 31-year-old didn't practise yesterday and is a good bet to sit out practice again this morning.

"It's a short week and a hamstring is quite a delicate thing for a cornerback," Sanchez said yesterday. "We'll see what happens today and tomorrow. We'll see if we can get it ready for this weekend."

While there are a myriad of possibilities, it appears veteran Shannon Garrett will move from his defensive halfback spot to Sanchez's spot on the corner this week.

Under that scenario, rookie defensive back Gerald Dixon would replace Garrett at halfback.

If neither Hervey or Sanchez are cleared to play, there'll be room for one import and one non-import on the 40-man roster this week.

That could open the door for now-healthy running back Elvis Joseph, along with defensive tackle Clinton Wayne.


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