Eskimos slotback striking out?

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:06 AM ET

He doesn’t play baseball, but Kelly Campbell is on the verge of striking out.

The Edmonton Eskimos slotback has dropped two end-zone pass in as many games, which proved to be momentum-breakers if not game-changers.

“I lost track of the ball behind the pole, it kind of interfered with my vision ... that’s it,” said Campbell, who initially appeared to catch a ball in the end zone as he fell to the ground Saturday against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, only to lose hold of it as he landed.

It was a different route but same result from the week before against the Montreal Alouettes, when he couldn’t hold onto a touch pass over his shoulder in the end zone.

“That’s what makes it even worse, coming off a game last week and dropping a touchdown pass to come back this week and do the same thing,” said Campbell. “Regardless what the excuse was or what the reason may be, whether the pole was in the way, or distractions or not, it still remains: a drop is a drop and I take all ownership on that.”

Understanding

Ricky Ray was plenty understanding. The Eskimos quarterback had just completed a pass to Campbell for a 30-yard gain on the previous play, which set them up at Saskatchewan’s 11.

On his next pass, Ray had to thread the needle to get the ball to Campbell between the goal post and the coverage with nine seconds left in the half.

“When I threw the ball, I thought it was going to hit the goal post,” Ray said. “He was running a seam pattern down there and when I let it go, I was just hoping it would get by there.

“I don’t know if he lost track of it for a minute or what, but it just made for a more difficult catch.”

The incompletion led to a second-down field goal as time ran out in the half.

Campbell wasn’t dwelling on his first missed catch heading into Sunday’s game.

“Once I woke up the next morning, it was out of my mind. The only thing that was in my mind was to come back this week and make a play and make up for it,” Campbell said. “Of course, that didn’t happen, but that’s why I’ve got 15 more games to show up.”

It has only made him hungrier.

“Especially when it happens two games in a row, now you know, the third time is a charm,” said Campbell, who ended up with four receptions for 54 yards on Sunday, and nine catches for 170 yards the previous week. “Going to Winnipeg this week is definitely going to be a monster for me. I’m going to have the attitude where I’ve got to get it.”

As deflating as it is to see dropped passes in the end zone, the Eskimos defence stands by their offence.

‘Little things’

“I can’t say (anything) because I don’t play offence. Do they feel the same way when they see me miss a tackle?” said Eskimos middle linebacker Maurice Lloyd. “It still comes back to the little things. I don’t know what Kelly saw, I don’t play that position, I’ve never had that type of pressure on my back, but the ifs and buts come back.

“You could start pointing fingers at each other, but in this game pointing one finger at somebody you’ve got three fingers pointing back at you.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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