Butterfingers Green

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:46 AM ET

Blame it on inexperience, blame it on slippery conditions or just blame Skyler Green.

The Edmonton Eskimos' return man chose the third option when it came to bobbling a couple of balls in Sunday's season opener against the B.C. Lions.

One of the fumbles was recovered by Lions defensive back Jason Arakgi in the third quarter and led to one of Paul McCallum's six field goals.

"It was just a careless mistake by me," said Green, who scored the game-winning touchdown on a pass from Jason Maas in the dying seconds of the preseason game in June the last time the two teams met.

"I take all the blame for that fumble, but I look forward to next week making it better."

Green was held to just 16 punt-return yards on five attempts, but was more productive on kick returns, earning 116 yards on five attempts.

"Everything else went well, the guys were picking up their blocks, they were creating alleys for me to run in," Green said.

"Other than that, we've just got to go out and (correct) still some mistakes by some of our team. We look forward to fixing it this week."

Although Sunday was the first time the Eskimos had to deal with rain and wet field conditions in a game situation, Green said it didn't make a difference.

"We've been through the rain. We practise on it while it's raining," he said. "It's no excuse. Those guys (the Lions) played a great football game.'

Special teams coverage went much better for the Eskimos Sunday, with Kai Ellis chasing down a 41-yard punt to tackle Andrew Harris for no gain on the return.

"I wanted to make something happen (Sunday) and we just couldn't find that spark," said Green, who returned a punt for a touchdown in last season's West Division semifinal.

"I tell you what, this week it will be a whole lot better."

But perhaps Green just didn't have the proper motivation.

After all, the Eskimos ended practice Thursday with a punt-fielding showcase put on by none other than their offensive linemen.

"They wanted to kind of show us their skill set," head coach Richie Hall joked afterward. "It was a little fun thing because it was for some doughuts."

Exactly how much "some doughnuts" means when it comes to O-linemen is up for debate, but one thing for certain is Green has no fear of losing his job to right guard Patrick Kabongo.

"Patrick was the only one that didn't catch it," Hall said. "He was complaining that the ball wasn't kicked to him. The ball can't always come straight to you."

"Man, that kick was a tough kick to catch," Kabongo said.

"Those guys are good. I wouldn't want to be back there catching punts. It's tougher than it looks."

But Jeremy Parquet, Joe McGrath, Calvin Armstrong and Aaron Rogers all made it look easy, getting their big mitts on the ball and hanging on to raucous applause and celebratory body bumps from teammates.

"I'm glad those guys stepped up," Kabongo said.


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