Spotlight on Esks secondary

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:50 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos secondary better get ready for a major test.

When the Green and Gold battle the first-place Saskatchewan Roughriders tomorrow night in Regina, the secondary is going to look radically different from anything anybody has seen this year.

Will Loftus will be starting his first game at safety since 2004, in place of injured J.R. LaRose.

Lenny Williams will be making his first-ever start at cornerback for the Edmonton Eskimos, just two weeks after arriving in camp.

And valuable veteran cornerback Omarr Morgan will be at home in Edmonton, resting an injured hamstring.

"I think I can play," said Morgan, who practised briefly yesterday.

"But I've never had this injury and they (the Eskimo medical staff) know more about it than I do."

With Williams on one corner and rookie Jason Flowers on the other, the Riders will surely test both young players early and often.

Watch for some deep throws to wide receivers Matt Dominguez and Jason Armstead.

But Loftus - a 10-year CFL vet - believes the young corners will do just fine.

"I think they are going to do very well (this week)," he said.

"They have made a lot of big plays in practice.

"And we have definitely gone at them in practice to challenge them."

Williams made his Eskimo debut last week in the fourth quarter in place of an injured Morgan - and it didn't exactly instill a lot of confidence in fans.

He was nailed for an ugly pass interference call on a Hamilton receiver. On the next play, the Ticats scored.

But Williams has a defence - if you will - for that game.

"(I was) just being a little too aggressive and not seeing the ball.

"That just comes from not playing football in a while," said Williams, who hadn't played a game since the pre-season last year in the NFL.

"Don't look for that to happen too many more times."

The Esks actually wanted to have Williams in training camp, but he couldn't make it for personal reasons.

The 25-year-old import now gets to start against a familiar face in Regina.

"I'm just looking forward to playing against an old-time hero - Kerry Joseph, he played at McNeese (State)," said Williams on the Riders starting quarterback.

"That's in my hometown (in Louisiana). I looked up to Kerry.

"I was in high school when he was doing his thing in college.

"He was everything at McNeese."

SHORT HITS: LaRose will remain on the roster against the West Division-leading Riders, but will play special teams. LaRose hurt his shoulder last week... OL Dan Comiskey is not going to play, resting an injured left calf muscle again. Rhett McLane is expected to start at left guard... WR Pat Woodcock was scheduled to have an MRI yesterday for an injured knee... It's possible that Williams could also return punts against the Riders tomorrow.


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