Davis ready to lug the rock in Toronto

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:40 AM ET

TORONTO -- Like cramming for an important exam, Troy Davis practically put his nose in the Edmonton Eskimo playbook during the last three days.

As expected, those study sessions paid off, as head coach Danny Maciocia officially placed Davis on the team's roster yesterday.

Now the coach is hoping Davis will help his new club pass its most important test of the year.

With three losses in the last four games, the slumping Eskimos battle the Toronto Argos tomorrow afternoon at Rogers Centre.

The Eskimos are in a dogfight for second place in the CFL's West Division with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Calgary Stampeders.

Saskatchewan missed a chance to take over sole possession of second place when the Roughriders lost 38-34 to Montreal last night.

Davis will be playing his first game with the Green and Gold after arriving from Hamilton this week as part of a huge trade involving four players and a draft pick.

"I would say (Davis knows) a major part (of the playbook)," said Maciocia of the leading rusher in the CFL last year.

Davis and non-import Dahrran Diedrick are Edmonton's two main running threats tomorrow.

Ron McClendon - the starting tailback for the last four games - was left at home yesterday to free an import roster position for Davis.

Dan Comiskey, who was also part of Wednesday's major deal with the Tiger-Cats, will block from left guard, taking Brock Ralph's non-import roster position.

Rhett McLane is now the backup offensive lineman, replacing Patrick Kabongo, a healthy scratch.

"The sixth offensive lineman has to be able to play centre," said Maciocia.

Evidently, Kabongo doesn't fit that bill.

Sandy Annunziata can be a backup centre, but was officially placed on the injured list yesterday afternoon after dislocating and tearing an MCL ligament in an elbow against Hamilton last Friday.

Joe McGrath will take Annunziata's spot at right guard.

Safety Kelly Wiltshire returns to the roster after missing one game, filling the non-import vacancy with Annunziata's move to the injured list.

Randy Spencer (leg) and Cedric Scott (back) are also injured.

Steve Charbonneau replaces Spencer while rookie Charles Alston - seeing his first game action in nearly three months - returns to the roster for Scott.

And as expected, defensive end Rashad Jeanty starts today with defensive back Keyuo Craver a healthy scratch.

LATE HITS: With kickoff slated for 11 a.m. MT tomorrow, it will feel like a morning game to the Eskimos. But Maciocia isn't "overly concerned" about the early start time. "That's the reason we're going out a little earlier (to Toronto)," said Maciocia, before boarding the team flight from Edmonton yesterday afternoon ... Ralph and Tay Cody - the other players involved in Wednesday's deal with the Tiger-Cats - didn't dress Friday night when Ottawa pummelled Hamilton.


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