Bates joins Esks

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:04 PM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos announced the acquisition of veteran offensive lineman Kelly Bates Tuesday.

The Eskimos traded a conditional pick in the 2014 CFL draft for the nine-year veteran who played for the B.C. Lions and Winnipeg Blue Bombers before joining Saskatchewan in the off-season.

“Kelly Bates coming here improves our offensive line,” said Eskimos head coach Richie Hall. “We’re looking to get better up there, we’re not satisfied.”

A guard by trade, Hall didn’t say where they were looking at fitting Bates into the offensive line or who he would replace.

“Right now, Kelly’s in,” Hall said. “That’s what we’re dealing with right now.”

Bates will dress Friday, but will not start.

“It’s a quick turnaround here and there’s a lot to learn,” said Bates. “That being said, I expect to be on the roster and dressed and if called upon I will do my job.”

The 35-year-old spent the first half of the season on the nine-game injured list, making the move to Edmonton as soon as he was reactivated.

“I’m excellent. I haven’t played in two years. I’m fine,” Bates said of his physical status. “I feel like I’m ready to contribute and want to play. It’s been a while, and really, as a player you only play this game because you want to be on the field.

“When it appeared I wasn’t going to get that opportunity in Saskatchewan, this was a process that we started.”

While it will no doubt be an adjustment moving from a winner to a team with a losing record, Bates doesn’t see it that way.

“Everything is perception,” said Bates. “I know a lot of guys in this room and I know the pride that they have and what football means to them.

“You don’t come to work day in and day out if you don’t want to win.”

– Moddejonge


Videos

Photos