Eskimos leaders doubtful

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:18 AM ET

Unless there is a drastic and unexpected change, the Edmonton Eskimos will be without veteran receiver Mookie Mitchell and linebacker A.J. Gass when they host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Thursday night at Commonwealth Stadium.

It will mark the second consecutive game the team has been without both leaders after they suffered right hamstring injuries on Canada Day in the 'Peg.

Wearing a backwards baseball hat instead of a helmet, Gass just watched practice yesterday, which is now his usual routine.

Mitchell was worked through some private running drills on the sidelines for a short time yesterday before quickly having a big bag of ice strapped to his right leg.

"I went to the chiropractor and he loosened up (the hamstring)," said Mitchell.

"I did drills (yesterday) and it felt fine cutting-wise, so I guess I will come out here (today at practice) before Danny Maciocia makes the decision."

But coach Maciocia downgraded Mitchell to doubtful yesterday, one day after listing him as questionable. And Mitchell later admitted his hamstring only feels 75-80% healthy when he runs.

SHORT HIT: Will Loftus's training camp has officially started. After being sidelined since rotator cuff surgery in the off-season, the veteran Canadian safety and special teams starter practised for the first time this year yesterday.

"I'd say I'm two to three weeks (away before being ready)," he stated, "but it's great to be back on the field ... and the shoulder feels strong as ever."

FINISH LINES: Starting linebacker Singor Mobley just watched practice yesterday, but he'll be healthy enough to play Thursday, according to Maciocia.


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