Oh the pain of it

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:14 AM ET

CALGARY -- With the rematch just four days away, there are questions surrounding the health and fitness of the Edmonton Eskimos.

The injury bug hit the Green and Gold during the warm-up of yesterday's Labour Day Classic -- and it kept biting them throughout the game.

"You get to the game and Mike Bradley gets hurt in the warm-up," lamented head coach Danny Maciocia.

"And Matty (Mathieu) Bertrand goes down on the opening kickoff."

From there, Edmonton lost defensive back Jonte Buhl for a portion of the game and watched fullback Mike Maurer go down not once, but twice through the afternoon.

But the most serious situation appears to surround Bertrand, who is considered one of the toughest players on the team. The fullback has a shoulder injury and a possible concussion. He sat on the bench without equipment for four quarters.

His injury forced Maurer to become the full-time fullback in addition to playing on kickoff coverage and being the snapper on punts and field goals.

That unusually high workload in 30 C heat at McMahon Stadium eventually took its toll.

Suffering from dehydration and slyly alluding to some potential problems with dizziness, Maurer sat twice on the turf. He may have been trying to give his teammates on defence a chance to catch their breath. However, there's no denying the punishment his body took.

"(Bertrand) and I usually split the time on (offence) and special teams," he explained.

"With the heat, it made for a rough one today."

But Maurer is expected to play Friday.

The training staff, though, will probably monitor Buhl and Bradley through the next couple of days.

That comes on top of the uncertain health of offensive lineman Dan Comiskey (post-concussion symptoms) and Donald Brady's fitness level.

Describing his injury as a "little hiccup with a knee," Bradley played yesterday.

Suffering with the injury through the week, he couldn't get the knee to loosen up.

The gutsy special teams ace is hoping the three-hour bus ride to Calgary might have been a factor in why he couldn't get the leg properly warmed up.

As for Buhl, both of his hamstrings were problematic.

"It was a cramp that I caught in both legs," he explained.

"I took some pills to get back out there, but a few plays later I cramped up again."

Like almost every player after a game, Buhl feels he'll be ready for Friday.

"I am going to play and it is going to be a different game," he remarked.

"It can't get any worse than it is."

But that decision will rest with the medical and coaching staff.

SHORT HIT: Linebacker A.J. Gass also went down yesterday and appeared to be in significant pain -- repeatedly slamming his feet into the turf. He claims it was only a case of getting the wind knocked out of him.

He finished the game.

FINISH LINES: As expected, DB Roosevelt Williams was a healthy scratch from the 42-man roster to make room for Gass yesterday. The other healthy deletions to the reserve list were: WR Richard Alston (for the fourth consecutive game), LB J.P. Abraham and DT Jabari Issa.


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