Humbling year for Cory Boyd

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:24 AM ET

EDMONTON - Cory Boyd is a bit like the third wheel on a bicycle built for two.

The Edmonton Eskimos running back was the odd man out in Monday’s Labour Day Classic, which he watched from the sidelines as a healthy scratch while Hugh Charles and Jerome Messam took care of the duties in the backfield.

“It’s always tough when you prepare and you expect to play and things happen that are out of your control,” said Boyd, who joined the Eskimos a month ago after an abrupt release from the Toronto Argonauts, despite leading the league in rushing. “You’ve just got to take that seat and take one for the team.”

While he couldn’t recall the last time he was scratched for a game, Boyd said it has been a humbling year.

“All I can do is continue to work hard like I’m going to play,” he said. “As it unfolds, maybe I’ll be in there, maybe not.”

Boyd made the trip down to Calgary despite being told he wouldn’t dress.

“I try to keep my spirits up and be a team leader,” he said. “I wanted to be there for my teammates to root them on no matter what.

“This was my first Labour Day Classic here.”

Whether he will see more is a question left for others to answer.

“I don’t know what the future holds,” he said. “I still have a lot of football in me.”

And Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed is looking for a way to get some of it out onto the field Friday.

“We’re planning to look at very strongly having Cory on the roster this week,” he said. “We’ve been working on a couple of packages the last few weeks with three in prior to Jerome returning, and if that’s the case, we’ll probably add Cory.”

With a trio of proven starter-worthy running backs on the roster, Reed said his challenge is to find ways to keep them involved.

“It’s very important for us to keep the player engaged,” he said. “They’re all very keen competitors, so I feel it’s incumbent upon us as a coaching staff to make certain the players understand where they stand and expect them to be prepared every single opportunity they get.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

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