Last Saturday’s 24-20 defeat at the hands of the Saskatchewan Roughriders wasn’t a total loss for the Edmonton Eskimos.
Two of them were selected as CFL Players of the Week: linebacker Maurice Lloyd on defence and kicker Noel Prefontaine on special teams.
“Especially when we lost the football game, but they played well and it’s always nice for individuals to get recognized,” said Eskimos head coach Richie Hall.
“But the bottom line is, I know they would switch that for a victory.”
Prefontaine had a stellar outing, despite being a game-time decision to play due to a groin injury that saw him miss the previoius game against the Montreal Alouettes.
Against Saskatchewan, he was three-for-three on field goals and punted nine times for 440 yards and two single scores, being responsible for more than half the Eskimos’ point production.
“Whatever guys we dress, those are the guys we rely upon to come out there and do their jobs whether it’s five times, whether it’s 20 times, whatever it is. And he played an outstanding game,” said Hall.
“He punted the ball really well, kicked field goals and he was injured, so he didn’t have a lot of practice time during the week and he rose to the occasion.”
After 13 years, it’s not surprising to see Prefontaine roll with the punches.
He sat out Tuesday’s practice but hopes to be ready for Saturday’s game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
‘Going to be cautious’
“It feels better than it did before game day. We’re just going to be cautious with it and be smart.”
Special teams has been the most consistent part of the Eskimos’ game.
“It’s the only part that I’m involved with and it’s extremely important to me that we collectively as a group are successful,” he said.
“This award that I have won is not just because of what I did.
“Timmy (St. Pierre) did a good job of snapping to me and Jay (Maas) did a good job of holding and the guys did a good job blocking.
“It’s unfortunate that you can’t give this award to everybody on special teams becaue they obviously deserve it.”
Prefontaine said he was happy to be able to contribute whenever the offence needed to rely on him.
“There have been times when the offence or defence have had to pick up our mistakes and that’s why this is such a beautiful game in the fact that everybody needs to go out there and play in order for us to be successful,” he said.
Lloyd had six tackles and two sacks last Saturday to earn the league’s top honour on defence.
IN AND OUT: DT Dario Romero (ankle) and FS Jason Nugent (hamstring) returned to practice. SB Kelly Campbell (arm), Prefontaine (groin), SB Kamau Peterson (ankle), KR Skyler Green (leg) and FB Graeme Bell (ankle) sat out Tuesday.
The Eskimos added former University of Southern California defensive back Will Harris and released non-import safety James Green.