Esks yet to make pivot-al decision

GERRY MODDEJONGE, Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:03 PM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos face some interesting decisions in their upcoming regular-season finale, the most pivotal of which revolves around their starting pivot.

Plan A for Saturday against the Saskatchewan Roughriders is to have Ricky Ray quarterbacking the offence, after sitting out the last two games with a muscle injury that affects his throwing arm.

Ray threw on the field at Commonwealth Stadium for the third day in a row.

“He got an opportunity to throw again (Monday),” said head coach Richie Hall. “Hopefully we’ll get to see him at practice over the next couple of days.”

Until then, Ray remains questionable to play.

“I just know he’s getting better, he’s been throwing the last couple days,” Hall said. “It’s been positive. That’s kind of a day-to-day situation. We have played the last two games without him, we found ways to win football games.

“That’s Plan B, if Ricky’s not able to go then Jared (Zabransky) will get the start and we’ll go forward.”

Ray’s status towards the end of the week will determine if he is activated off the one-game injured list.

“Technically, there’s four quarterbacks on the 46 (man roster), because you don’t have to declare your roster (yet),” Hall said. “Because Ricky’s on there, he was injured last week. We still have the other three. We don’t have to declare our injured until the end of the week, so really you have him on there now.

“It’s just a matter of who you’re going to declare. We’re going to dress three for the day.”

Meaning either Ray or newly signed Kerry Joseph will not be in uniform Saturday, since Zabransky will be No. 2 if he doesn’t start and Jason Maas is the holder on special teams.

“When I look at the mix, it’s Ricky Ray, it’s Zabransky and it’s Jason Maas,” Hall said.

Hoping for the best and planning for the worst, the Eskimos are exploring their options when it comes to the rest of their depth chart.

“The worst possible scenario is that we have the same lineup that we had last week, which was good enough to win,” Hall said. “We have to play better in order to win this week but it’s not like we haven’t been out on the field to perform before.”

The Eskimos will be back at practice Tuesday for the first time since Saturday’s 16-13 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

“It’s an off-day,” Hall said Monday. “We’ll talk about the roster here, talk about our game plan and see what we have to do to win on Saturday.”

The Eskimos still have the option of bringing one of the 10 players off of the nine-game injured list early, such as running back Arkee Whitlock.

“I think anytime you have an opportunity to bring guys off (the injured list), and to add good depth, experience and good ball players to your lineup it’s always interesting,” Hall said. “But when you do something there’s always domino effect.

“It depends on who you pull off, because it’s going to be an American for an American but are you going on offensive side or defensive side? It affects somebody.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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