Patchwork quilt

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:22 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos secondary is now a primary concern.

With veteran defensive backs Omarr Morgan and Stanford Samuels on the shelf with injuries for tomorrow's game in Calgary, the Esks are going to have another new-look secondary.

In fact, safety J.R. LaRose is the only Eskimo veteran in the five-man unit.

Due to the injuries, Edmonton will likely start Jason Flowers, Lenny Williams and Chris Thompson - all rookies.

Between those three, they have just seven games of Eskimo experience - combined.

More important, though, is the fact this group of five - which also includes CFL vet Jason Goss - has never played together in a game.

"We are pretty banged up," said LaRose.

"It is crazy.

"We just got one guy (Thompson) here and (he got) two days of practice and he's going to be starting.

"I hope all of us can get together and gel as quickly as we can because they have got some good receivers."

Calgary has three of the top 12 receivers in the CFL right now in Nik Lewis, Jeremaine Copeland and Ken-Yon Rambo.

But Williams doesn't seem to be losing sleep over the rookies in the secondary.

"We (are) knew to the Canadian Football League but we are not new to football," said Williams, referring to himself, Flowers and Thompson being league rookies.

"So, we just got to play to our strengths and play our team game and hope for the best."

Samuels is battling a turf toe problem and bone bruise on one foot.

Morgan has a hamstring injury that has forced him to miss back-to-back games, even though a bye week was between.

"I know Hank (Henry Burris) and a lot of the guys in Calgary are probably going to be licking their chops but they are probably going to be in for a surprise," said Morgan.

The key for the secondary is actually going to be Edmonton's defensive line.

"As long as we are getting pressure up front it is going to be a lot easier for us," said LaRose.

In other words, red-hot Burris - who has thrown for at least 300 yards in five straight games - can't have time in the pocket to pick apart the new defensive backfield.

FINISH LINES: Fullback Mathieu Bertrand didn't practice yesterday, clearing resting some sort of problem. But it doesn't appear to be anything serious.


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