Battle brewing for backup Esks QB

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:49 AM ET

EDMONTON - One of the only certainties heading into Edmonton Eskimos training camp this season was that Ricky Ray would be the starting quarterback.

Who will back up Ray is still up for debate.

On Wednesday, the Eskimos brought in veteran Kerry Joseph to add to the list of quarterbacks at camp.

He joins Matt Nichols, Marc Mueller and Eric Ward in the battle to send in plays and hold the clipboard. Currently Nichols has the inside track on the back-up job.

You cant worry about who theyre bringing in, guys are brought all the time and released all the time in this game, Nichols said. All you can do is come in and do your best every day. For a quarterback, you just have to keep learning the offence and do what youre asked to do and thats basically what my mindset is.

Nichols spent time with the Dallas Cowboys last year before being released prior to the regular season. He came up and worked out with the Eskimos, earning a spot on the practice roster.

That was a big thing for me last year, being able to come up here and learn the CFL game a little bit and be able to prepare for it this off-season, Nichols said. Im way ahead of where I would have been had I not been here last year. I think last year helped me a lot and Im very excited to be up here.

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Whos hot

Brought in to fight for a kick-returning job, Brandon James is impressing with his abilities to run routes and catch the ball. The CFL rookie is quickly becoming one of the favoured targets for the Eskimos quarterbacks.

Whos not

Wopamo Osaisai dropped a sure interception that he was kicking himself over. Sometimes coaches have a tendency to notice drops more than catches during training camp.

Big play

Fred Stamps and Ricky Ray seem to be on the same page already, which is good news for the Eskimos. The two hooked up on a 50-yard passing play, as Stamps was able to get in behind the defence and caught a perfectly-thrown ball over the top.

In and out

The Eskimos released Joel Lipinski, UnTavious Scott and Robert Vaughn on Wednesday. They brought in receiver Larry Beavers and quarterback Kerry Joseph, who is expected to take the field on Thursday.

Injuries

Dee Sterling (knee), Mathieu Bertrand (shoulder), Ray Fisher (shoulder), Gord Hinse (thumb), Aaron Fiacconi (head), Brad Smith (ankle).

Next up

One session at Clarke Park Thursday, from 9 a.m. 10:30 a.m.


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