Rookies to fill Richardson void

Gerry Moddejonge, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:39 AM ET

EDMONTON - A break to Elliott Richardson’s wrist might just be the break one of the Edmonton Eskimos backup safeties needed.

With the starter shelved for at least nine weeks, it’s up to Jason Nugent and rookie Saleem Borhot to fill the void.

“(Friday’s practice) was kind of split between Nugent and Sal evenly,” said Richardson. “It looks like those two are kind of battling it out right now and each of them has their own strengths.

“And as long as they’re doing their job, the team’s going to be fine.”

While Borhot was selected 12th overall by the Eskimos in the 2010 draft, fifth-year veteran Nugent is making a return to the safety spot after beginning camp as a linebacker.

“I made the switch, I accepted it and just went hard every day,” Nugent said. “I felt like it helped me overall as a football player because it gave me a better understanding of the defence.”

But safety has always been home for Nugent.

“I played every game last year, I was a backup every game, but I still got those reps,” he said. “I know the defence, so for me to step in, I feel it would be an easy transition.”

Nugent started seven games at safety with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2008.

Whoever steps in on the July 4 opener against the B.C. Lions at Commonwealth Stadium, Richardson said he will do all he can to help out.

“It’s kind of good that I got past being able to understand our defence and all the concepts involved,” Richardson said. “I’m going to help out as much as I can. I am definitely going to help some of the other guys because I feel like I know the system well.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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