Has concussion cost LaRose?

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

J.R. LaRose is somewhat stunned - and it has nothing to do with concussion symptoms.

The sophomore safety believes he has lost his starting job, even though he will return to practice today after suffering a concussion last week against Winnipeg.

Although Edmonton Eskimo head coach Danny Maciocia isn't revealing his roster, it appears 35-year-old Shannon Garrett will start at safety against B.C. on Friday in Vancouver - his first start at the position in six years.

"I'm kind of in shock myself," said 23-year-old LaRose. "He (Garrett) is a veteran player. I know in the game (last week) I had a few mental busts. It happens. I am still young. I got a lot to learn. I am not stressing about it."

Providing LaRose is free of concussion symptoms after today's practice, the non-import will surely stay on special teams.

But against the high-octane Lions' receiving core of Geroy Simon and company, Garrett is getting ready to patrol centre field.

"I think I will probably have more action at free safety than wide-field corner (from last week)," said Garrett.

From playing linebacker to halfback to corner, Garrett has played nearly everywhere on defence in the last two years.

"I am not playing D-line," he quipped.

With Garrett moving to safety, Jason Goss will likely be moved into a starting role in the secondary.

Although Garrett is an import, the club will still have the seven required starting non-imports with five on the offensive line, Adam Braidwood (D-line) and at least one at receiver.

ROAD TROUBLE

If the Esks are going to have significant success this year, they need to change their ugly trend on the road.

In the last three years, the club is 8-19 away from home in the regular-season, including a brutal 2-7 mark last year.

That explains why the club is changing its routine.

"We are trying to create an environment where we are leading players to believe that they are on the road but they are actually at home with their pre-game meals and the way we meet," said Maciocia, trying to mimic the routine home schedule on the road.

"And hopefully that will help us this year."

So, instead of just landing at the Vancouver airport and going straight to the hotel for the rest of the day, the club is going to B.C. Place for a walk-through practice session on Thursday.

In Edmonton, the team always has a walk-through the day before the game on the practice field.

Going to the stadium also ensures the Esks follow the supposedly enforced rule this year that visiting teams must show up at the stadium the day before a game for media purposes.

Veteran lineman Dan Comiskey likes the new road schedule.

"I think routine is great," he said. "You never question what time you are going to be back at the hotel. You are never questioning - are we going to have meetings?

"Maybe that is part of the way to develop a winning record right there."

FINISH LINES: Pat Woodcock has returned to practice, recovered from his foot injury.


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