No pain, no gain for Ray

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:22 PM ET

Like a pinata at a rowdy Mexican party, quarterback Ricky Ray was hit several times by the Calgary Stampeders on Friday night at Commonwealth Stadium.

But the starting Edmonton Eskimo pivot is healthy enough to play Sunday at Taylor Field in Regina against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

"I don't know why everybody is questioning that," said Ray, in a rather quiet Eskimo dressing room late yesterday afternoon.

"I'm fine.

''You'll know it's something if I'm lying down on the ground and I don't get up."

According to head coach Danny Maciocia, the team only suffered one major injury Friday. Non-import defensive lineman Randy Spencer has an injured calf muscle. His status for Sunday is up in the air.

SHORT YARDAGE: With nine days between games, the Eskimos will not be on the practice field until Wednesday.

But newcomer Dahrran Diedrick will be meeting with the coaching staff during the next couple of days.

"We will see if we can get him up to speed and practice will ultimately determine (his status for Sunday)," said Maciocia.

The former star Nebraska running back officially signed a two-year deal with the club before Friday's game.

But Diedrick will not be seeing Elvis Joseph in the dressing room.

The ex-Jacksonville Jaguar, who rushed for 66 yards during the first Edmonton game of the regular season against Ottawa, has been released.

After his opening night stint, Joseph ran the ball just nine more times over three games, gaining just 28 yards.

With Ron McClendon, Mike Jenkins and Diedrick currently with the club, Maciocia will still have to leave at least one healthy running back off the roster for the next game.

LATE HITS: Although Hayden Epstein didn't come close to executing a successful onside kick in the final seconds of Friday's game, Maciocia isn't thinking of adding Sean Fleming to the roster for Sunday ... The battle for second in the CFL western division became even tighter last night with Saskatchewan's 19-17 win over Winnipeg. The Riders and Stamps are now just four points behind Edmonton for second place.


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