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Edmonton Eskimos running back Troy Davis has had less than one game to get used to his O-linemen...

Edmonton Eskimos running back Troy Davis has had less than one game to get used to his O-linemen heading into their CFL season opener. (Edmonton Sun File/Darryl Dyck)

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:51 AM ET

Every CFL team has continuity issues when the regular season starts.

With nearly 70 bodies in training camp and only two pre-season games to evaluate the players, that's an inevitable situation.

However, the Edmonton Eskimos have more than their fair share of continuity concerns. Consider the following facts about the Green and Gold's probable starting lineup this Saturday when the real season begins:

SECONDARY WOES?

- The secondary has never played a full game together. With veteran Donald Brady suffering a rib injury in the final pre-season game, and out of action for at least a week, the secondary will likely have a relative newcomer - rookie Jonte Buhl or sophomore Gerald Dixon - at halfback.

The Esks could also drop Shannon Garrett back to the secondary, but if they did, that group still hasn't played together before.

That move would also mean the linebacking core would be very inexperienced, with a newcomer to Will-linebacker filling Garrett's spot - Dixon or Marcus Winn - and Quincy Stewart making his first-ever regular-season start at middle linebacker.

- The defensive line has never played a full game together because it was a revolving door at defensive end through camp. The Esks will line up this weekend with returnees Chuck Alston and Steve Charbonneau, along with Montreal import Robert Brown and either rookie Andre Sommersell or Sherrod Coates.

- The first-string offensive line has never played a full game together. Due to Patrick Kabongo's knee injury early in camp, the starting five didn't take a single snap together in the first exhibition game. They started the second preseason game, but didn't finish together as other players were being tested.

- Starting running back Troy Davis has had less than one game to get used to his O-linemen.

- All-star receiver Jason Tucker and Ricky Ray haven't played a single down together this year. Ray didn't dress for the first pre-season game and Tucker didn't dress for the second preseason game after a vicious hit in Regina.

ALWAYS WORRIED

"You are always worried," said Eskimo head coach Danny Maciocia. "Did I think we would have the number of changes we have right now? Probably not. Are we where we want to be right now? I would say no. But we can clearly get it together real soon and be the team that we think we have the ability to be."

And it won't be an easy start for the Esks.

Before Ottawa folded, they were originally scheduled to open in Montreal before returning to play the hapless Renegades. But the revised schedule has Edmonton battling the Calgary Stampeders in back-to-back games to start the year.


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