Gass unlikely to play

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:12 AM ET

A.J. Gass is unlikely to play Friday night against the B.C. Lions.

After straining his right hamstring on special teams in Winnipeg last weekend, he didn't practice yesterday.

"It's one thing after another," said Gass, who has had a season to forget so far. His mother died just before the Eskimos' training camp. He missed three weeks of practice.

"I'm trying not to have (the injury) bring me down too bad. But it's definitely a big setback."

Gass has played on special teams in one game this year. Quincy Stewart has started at middle linebacker.

By scratching Gass this week, the Esks can use his import spot to get newly signed Joe Montford on the 42-man roster for Friday.

MOOKIE MUSINGS

Although Mookie Mitchell rested his strained right hamstring yesterday, the veteran slotback is expected to start Friday.

This is the first time in Mitchell's 10-year CFL career that he's had a hamstring injury.

"It's crazy," he said. "The trainers have just been amazed that all these years I haven't had a problem."

FLEMING SMILES

After the microphone was turned on, a smile crept across Sean Fleming's face.

"It's not easy to replace this old guy," he said with a chuckle. The 15-year non-import veteran was reacting to the Eskimos' decision to release import Rodney Williams, who was the club's opening-day punter.

"Rodney had a strong leg," said Fleming. "But for him to stick around and be an American, he would have had to have punted the lights out." Although Williams could boom 60-yard punts during practice, he was inconsistent during games.

By watching Fleming nearly match Williams's game numbers, the coaching staff decided to use the coveted import roster spot in a more effective fashion.

SECONDARY CONSIDERATIONS

Esk head coach Danny Maciocia is toying with the idea of changing his secondary for the game against the high-powered B.C. Lions. Rookie Jonte Buhl, who has been a healthy scratch before every game this year, spent time taking reps with some of the first-string starters at yesterday's practice.

In particular, Reggie Durden and Keyuo Craver are on the hot seat. Receivers Milt Stegall and Chris Brazzell had a field day against them last Saturday in Winnipeg.

The brutal play of the secondary against the Bombers brought the best quote from Maciocia yesterday.

"It sure felt like I spent about 24 hours on that sideline (in Winnipeg) watching a horror show," he said.


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