Kelly looks to Kelly

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:27 AM ET

Memo to Kelly Campbell: Welcome to the big spotlight.

While nobody will replace injured Jason Tucker on the field and in the locker-room, Campbell will line up in Tucker's old position on the field.

"I think in our four-receiver set, Kelly Campbell steps right in to where Tuck was. And we should be fine," said Edmonton Eskimos receiver coach Mike Kelly.

For several years, Tucker has been quarterback Ricky Ray's go-to receiver with the Green and Gold.

HUGE BLOW

Losing Tucker for the rest of the year - and potentially forever - with a neck injury is a huge blow to the club.

With Thursday's game against the B.C. Lions at Commonwealth Stadium (8 p.m., CHED, TSN) fast approaching, the team has very little time to prepare for life without Tucker this week.

But the good news for the offence is that Campbell is familiar with the Tucker's slotback position.

"I have been playing that position since Day 1 behind Tuck," said Campbell.

"I am really familiar with it and comfortable with the position.

"Of course, now that he is down, it is going to probably bring a lot more coverage and pressure on me."

In other words, double coverage is coming toward Campbell, who is in his first year as an Eskimo.

With Tucker in the lineup, teams would often look at placing double coverage on him - leaving it much easier for other receivers.

"I received that kind of (double) coverage when I was playing in the NFL," said Campbell. "Once guys got to know who I was, I started receiving double coverage."

Entering this week, Campbell leads the Esks in receiving with 19 grabs for 388 yards and three majors.

But from a coaching perspective, Kelly is excited about the fact he seems to have a balanced receiving core.

"If you look at our stats right now we have four guys within three catches of each other," said Kelly.

"That was the whole point going (into the season).

"If you key on one, somebody else is going to hurt you.

"I have all the confidence in the world in the guys stepping up and filling that void of Tuck not being here."

ALL-STAR

Considering Tucker is a four-time CFL all-star, it's wise for the receiving unit to take the mindset of trying to replace No. 83 as a group.

"Everybody's role just changed. Everybody's plate got a little bigger. That is something that we are going to have to embrace," said receiver Kamau Peterson.

Tucker is actually fourth on the Esks' receiving standings entering Week 6 with 235 yards.

Peterson is second (22 catches, 330 yards) in receiving stats behind Campbell, followed by Fred Stamps (20, 272).

Running back Calvin McCarty actually has 18 catches coming out of the backfield.

While it's unclear how the Esks will line up in their five-receiver set and how Ray will distribute the ball, it's definitely possible that Andrew Nowacki - a five-year veteran - will become more involved.


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