Makeover for Esks O-line

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:31 AM ET

Who’s left?

After losing left tackle Jeremy Parquet and left guard Kyle Koch to injuries following last week’s win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the Edmonton Eskimos offensive line will look a bit different on Saturday.

“That whole left side is new, but at the same time, injuries are a part of the game and you keep going,” said head coach Richie Hall, whose squad will look to keep their playoff hopes alive against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

“If we didn’t have confidence with the guys doing the job then they wouldn’t be there. We’ll continue hopefully with the ship that has been rolling and we’ll continue to go forward.”

This week, the Eskimos will have proven veteran Kelly Bates in his familiar role at guard, while flying in late training-camp cut Patrick Afif to play left tackle.

“The advantage for Patrick is he was here at training camp, so he’s familiar with what we’re doing, he’s familiar with the group of guys that we have there,” Hall said. “His adjustment is just because he hasn’t been here working together with those guys week in and week out, but I don’t feel it’s going to be a major adjustment for him.

“The thing that he has against some of the other guys that are just coming in late is at least he was here during training camp, so as far as the overall foundation, he understands that.”

The Eskimos O-line has been a big part of the team’s four wins in their last five games, and will look to continue the trend with the new lineup.

“It’s a shame any time there’s an injury but that’s part of the game,” Hall said. “It’s how well can you adapt? It’s a challenge, but it’s not an issue.

“We’re still going to go forward, we still want to play, we still want to run the football, we still want to protect the quarterback. The things that we want to do haven’t changed, we just have different people in there.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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