Esks safe at safety?

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:45 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos have to be happy they're facing someone other than the B.C. Lions this week.

Their last two games, both against the Lions, have resulted in injuries to their starting free safeties.

Now, heading into Week 2 of the regular season against the Montreal Alouettes Sunday (5 p.m., TSN), the Eskimos are already on the third free safety on the depth chart.

At this rate, they're going to need 17 more just to make it through the regular season.

"The way we' re going right now, we might as well start posting some adds on Craigslist," joked sophomore free safety Elliott Richardson, who got a fiberglass cast on his wrist Thursday morning prior to practice. "We're fine, it's not like it's a curse or anything. There's nothing really we can do to prevent injuries and the people we have playing right now are going to do a good job."

The Eskimos' top free safety broke his wrist in the last preseason game, leading to Jason Nugent getting the start last Sunday, when he injured his hamstring, meaning a new face will start at the position this week.

"It can be done, it's not like you can't play a rookie back there against Montreal. I did the same thing last year," said sophomore free safety Elliott Richardson. "It's a bit of a challenge."

Non-import Saleem Borhot and import Weldon Brown split reps in Thursday's practice, while coaches covered the ratio by bringing in Canadian player Javier Glatt at linebacker and having Dee Sterling available on the defensive line.

"Just in case somebody goes down, I have to be in position to fill in at their position and be ready just to help the team," said Brown.

"It's my job to basically be ready mentally and physically for Sunday. I just like to play ball, like to fly around and coach has been doing a good job of putting me in position to be a playmaker."

Borhot will likely get the start Sunday.

"Anytime you get an opportunity, whether it's from injury or they put you out there, you've got to do what you can do and right now I'm just trying to get better every day," said Borhot, who suffered a hamstring injury in the preseason. "Of course, any time you get an opportunity to get in there and play you're going to be excited. I'm just going to sit aside and wait my turn, and when I get that chance, I'm going to try to make the best of it."

Richardson said he has confidence in whoever plays at free safety.

"As long as the defence as a whole plays together, then one person will never lose or one person will never win the game for you," he said.

IN AND OUT:Sitting out Thursday's practice were: FS Jason Nugent (hamstring), DT Dario Romero (ankle), DE Greg Peach and WR Brad Smith (undetermined). LB Neil Puffer was placed on the practice roster, while FB Chris Ciezki was activated. Former Eskimos receiver Kevin Challenger has been placed on the practice roster by the Montreal Alouettes and will not play here Sunday.


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