Jyles primed and ready

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:46 AM ET

TORONTO -- Steven Jyles is now one snap away from being the Edmonton Eskimos' starting quarterback.

Given the drastic injury problems and bad luck the Green and Gold have had to endure this year, it wouldn't be shocking to see Jyles become the starter by the end of the season.

Of course, the Esks are hoping current starting pivot Stefan LeFors will remain healthy through the stretch run.

LeFors will make his first-ever CFL start tomorrow against the hometown Toronto Argos. (1 p.m. MT, TSN/CHED). But Jyles believes he is ready to lead the Esks if LeFors is forced to the sidelines, even though he hasn't thrown a single pass this year.

"I study hard," said Jyles. "I truly believe I prepare myself well as far as knowing the offence."

The Calgary Stampeders proved last week just how quickly the quarterback depth chart can change. After losing starter Henry Burris earlier this year, the Stamps lost Akili Smith last Saturday against the B.C. Lions - forcing former third-stringer Barrick Nealy onto the field.

Nealy was very ineffective in a 42-9 loss, completing just five of 15 passes for 91 yards.

In a dogfight to make the playoffs, the Esks can't afford dismal outings from any pivot at the moment.

Commended for his off-field study and preparation habits by the Esks' coaching staff this week, Jyles admits his mind is racing a little more than usual with Ricky Ray sidelined with a shoulder separation suffered in the last game.

"(The preparation) is more on your mind because now you think about - I am only one snap away," said Jyles, who has been with the Esks for two years.

"(In the past), you prepare to be ready to play but you are like - hey, Ricky and Steph have to go down before I go in."

In his short career, Jyles is six-for-11 passing for 48 yards - all coming last year.


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