EDMONTON - There is a bad taste in the mouths of the Edmonton Eskimos, and it’s getting worse the closer they get to Sunday.
It will be the first time they will face the Calgary Stampeders in the playoffs since getting unceremoniously bounced from the post-season in the 2009 division semifinal.
It has been haunting the remaining veterans ever since.
“Always,” said Eskimos defensive lineman Greg Peach, who was a rookie that year. “That’s the last playoff memory I have. You want to make some new ones and it’s a good start that we’re playing here in Edmonton. I think that’s going to be good momentum for us, playing a home game for our fans. They haven’t had one for six years.
“The last time we played (a playoff game) in Calgary, we lost 24-21 and that was a heart-breaker. And now it’s time to pay them back and redeem ourselves.”
The Eskimos’ top special-teamer, Corbin Sharun, doesn’t have a playoff memory to look back on, unless you count the three city high-school championships he was in the middle of with the Strathcona Lords the last time Edmonton hosted a post-season game in 2004.
“This is my first (pro) playoff experience,” said Sharun, who isn’t alone when it comes to the 2011 edition of the Eskimos roster. “It’s going to be interesting, it’s a new experience for a lot of these guys. Especially to play against (Calgary) with the rivalry, it’s going to be a great game.”
While all-star slotback Fred Stamps has played in the playoffs before, he has never stepped foot in Commonwealth Stadium for a post-season game.
“I’m just ready to get it started,” said Stamps. “It’s exciting. It really didn’t matter if we got that first week bye, as long as we got a home playoff game and just focus on that game and go in there well-prepared.”
IN AND OUT: RG Greg Wojt (ankle) sat out practice all week and will not play Sunday. LB J.C. Sherritt (ankle, finger), who practised Thursday ended up resting on Friday.
“That will truly be a game-time decision,” said head coach Kavis Reed.
RB Jerome Messam (lower body), who was earlier listed as questionable, practised for the second day in a row.
“We had two very good practices from Jerome,” said Reed. “Unless there is some major setback, we expect that Jerome will play. (Thursday), he had about 70% of the reps, (Friday), he had about 90% of the reps.”