Esks cast an eye eastward

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:00 AM ET

Random thoughts and observations as the Eskimos continue to search for the right answers to their many problems ...

- In the department of rare good news for the Green and Gold, at least they have the right schedule staring them in the face.

Five points behind for sole possession of the third and final playoff spot in the West Division with a brutal 3-6-1 record, Edmonton has to turn its focus to the East Division.

To qualify for the playoffs in the East Division, Edmonton has to be at least one point ahead of the third-place team.

The Toronto Argos are third in the East with a 4-6-0 record for eight points.

Thankfully for the Eskimos, they play back-to-back games against Toronto to end this month and start October. (Sept. 28 at home and Oct. 6 on the road.)

Given Montreal's quarterback problems, the Als might struggle in the second half of the season.

If Edmonton is that fortunate, the Esks have back-to-back games against Montreal starting Friday at home.

However, Montreal did beat up on a weak B.C. club yesterday to raise its record to 12 points.

- Given the plight of the Eskimos - losers of five of their last six games - it is never too early to compare schedules down the stretch.

After playing its next four games against either Montreal or Toronto, Edmonton still has to battle B.C. twice before seeing Saskatchewan and Hamilton.

In their remaining eight games, the Argos face Winnipeg twice, Edmonton twice, Montreal twice, with single games on the road in B.C. and Saskatchewan.

After the back-to-back games with Edmonton, Montreal closes the season with road games in Saskatchewan, Toronto, Calgary and Winnipeg - along with home games against Hamilton and Toronto.

That is not an easy end to the year for the Als.

- Former Eskimo defensive end Rashad Jeanty is expected to miss the next four or five weeks with the Cincinnati Bengals after having leg surgery.

Jeanty left the Esks for the NFL last year. Playing linebacker with the Bengals, he was tabbed to be a starter this year.

- Clearly lacking talent on both sides of the ball, the Eskimos only have three starters on their current roster - Adam Braidwood, Tim Bakker and Rhett McLane - who were original Edmonton draft picks in the last 11 years.

Only six players - Braidwood, Bakker, McLane, Michael Jean-Louis, Calvin McCarty and Andrew Nowacki - from the last 11 CFL drafts are on the Eskimos' active roster today.

For the record, Edmonton has made 61 selections during the last 11 years.

- Injured Eskimo offensive lineman Kevin Lefsrud definitely enjoyed his football broadcasting debut on Saturday on the TEAM 1260.

"It was a lot of fun," said Lefsrud on his new role of colour commentator on University of Alberta broadcasts with Bob Stauffer.

"If I never play football again, it's something I'd like to pursue a little bit."

Lefsrud is on the nine-game injured list because of a concussion earlier this season.

But on the bright side, he's beginning to feel better.

"I pretty much feel back to normal," said Lefsrud yesterday.

Lefsrud is eligible to return for the final regular season game on Nov. 3.


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