MONCTON — Not even the idea of facing the worst team against the pass in the Canadian Football League could liven up Ricky Ray.
The Edmonton Eskimos quarterback is wearing his disappointment in his club’s season on his sleeve, and said on Saturday afternoon he hasn’t been this frustrated since breaking into the CFL in 2002.
“We talk every game about getting things turned around and we have yet to do it,” Ray said under cloudy skies at Stade Moncton 2010 Stadium, where Touchdown Atlantic will be contested between the Eskimos and Argonauts on Sunday.
“Time is getting short for us.”
With just two victories in 11 games and seven remaining, the Eskimos are in danger of scraping depths not seen since the franchise won just four games in 1964. Since then, the Eskimos have won at least five games every year.
The Argos have had the least success defending against the pass in 2010, giving up an average of 311.8 yards passing a game.
The Eskimos have averaged 256.2 yards in the air, seventh in the league, so Ray wasn’t buying the notion that perhaps the Argos can be exploited.
“Not really, because we have not been good throwing the ball,” Ray said.
“We have been so undisciplined with assignments, making mistakes, negative plays. We just have to worry about ourselves, because we are the ones out there making the mistakes.”
The Eskimos won’t have leading receiver Kelly Campbell, who is nicked up, and already were dealing with the absence of running back Arkee Whitlock, who is on the nine-game injured list with an ankle injury.
Running back Brad Lester has been activated from the practice roster to take reps with Calvin McCarty.
Despite what appears to be a dire situation, the Eskimos aren’t completely out of the playoff race.
The B.C. Lions were 3-8 heading into their game on Saturday night in Calgary versus the Stampeders, and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, at 3-9, are hoping to make some crossover playoff noise in the West Division.
“That has been the only good thing, that we have been losing a lot of games but so have B.C. and Winnipeg,” Ray said.
“They have not been able to find a way to get it done either, and they have kept us right in the hunt.
“But we can’t just rely on them to keep playing poorly. We have to do something to help our own cause.”