Catch-22 for Eskimos' Boyd

Edmonton Eskimos running back Cory Boyd speaks with media at a press conference held at...

Edmonton Eskimos running back Cory Boyd speaks with media at a press conference held at Commonwealth Stadium on Tuesday. The CFL's leading rusher signed a contract to play for the Eskimos after being released by the Toronto Argonauts. (Ian Kucerak/QMI Agency)

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:43 PM ET

EDMONTON - He might have come in as the CFL's leading rusher, but the only category Cory Boyd was leading on Friday was biggest hype-to-fan-disappointment ratio.

The Edmonton Eskimos newest acquisition didn't really get a chance to showcase his talents under the lights of Commonwealth Stadium after falling behind by four touchdowns early in a 38-25 loss to the Montreal Alouettes.

"We kind of started out slow as an offence, that's what we were just talking about in the locker-room," said Boyd, who led the league with 447 yards on 82 carries in his first six games with the Toronto Argonauts, but had just two carries Friday: the first for a loss of three yards and the other for a gain of five.

His two-yard net contributed to a team gain of just 54 yards, including a dozen by punter Burke Dales on a blocked play. Eskimos starting running back Hugh Charles shouldered the load with 37 yards on seven carries for a 5.3 yard average.

Otherwise, the running game was abandoned as the Eskimos offence tried to play catchup while down 28-0 in the second quarter.

"Definitely, we still tried to keep in it," Boyd said. "Hugh had some great runs, broke a couple.

"But once you get down by a large margin, you just have to go out there and do what's best for the team as the game turns into a passing game and a comeback game."

This week will mark a different kind of comeback for Boyd, who is returning to Toronto to take on an Argos squad that made him walk their roster's plank last Monday.

Meaning the hype machine that spun into overdrive during his arrival to Edmonton won't be slowing down anytime soon.

"No, it doesn't make anything easy and I try not to let it be anything harder than what it is," said Boyd. "I've just got to keep working harder. I still haven't broke that wall down yet of getting here and trying to fully be a part of this (team).

"This past week was just the beginning point. Now everything is going up and I plan on putting in that work and not trying to think of it as I'm going back to play my former team."

So Boyd has taken a mercenary-like approach to his football philosophy.

"Running the ball, it doesn't matter what uniform you're in. You get behind your big linemen and you make sure you make them look good and they make you look good," he said. "When I got the ball, I tried to do the best that I could.

"Coach (Kavis Reed) said he wanted to see what I could do outside of having the ball."

And see, Reed did.

"He had one protection bust and it was a significant one, but other than that he was pretty solid in protection," the head coach said. "Running the ball, he had a couple of carries where we saw why we wanted him: the second-and-short situation, shoulders squared downhill and he made the first down with ease."

gerry.oddejonge@sunmedia.ca

Twitter@Sun_Moddejonge


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