Eskimos' Jyles to start against Lions

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:06 AM ET

EDMONTON - The quarterback carousel continues round and round for the Edmonton Eskimos.

The same team that used all three of its quarterbacks for the second time this season in last week’s 51-8 loss at the hands of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats now must face the league-leading B.C. Lions.

And the one leading the charge is quarterback Steven Jyles. Again.

With Jyles — the Eskimos initial 2012 starter — and Kerry Joseph — their latest one — swapping roles this week between who plays and who sits out with a leg injury, the pivot who could prove the most pivotal was bypassed by Eskimos coaches this week.

Matt Nichols has thrown the ball to the end zone three times in the past two games, despite recording just four attempts.

Of course, two of those were voided by penalties in Hamilton last week and the other came on a 35-yard pitch and run to Corbin Sharun under fire on a broken field-goal in the Labour Day rematch.

But it matched the aerial touchdown production of Joseph in that time, while the only ball Jyles put in the end zone went for six the other way on an interception.

Still, the Eskimos are going with the one who steered the Eskimos to victory the last time they faced the Lions, who suffered their first defeat at home in 12 games dating back to last season.

“Before his injury in Toronto, he was really starting to peak,” said Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed. “He was peaking at the right time and then he had this set-back for the last three-and-a-half weeks.

“I expect that Steven is going to be a focused individual (Saturday).”

Because, if not, there is a more than viable option behind him.

“Matt was an option to start this game,” said Reed, who had a long meeting with Jyles on Sunday. “We decided that he gives us the best opportunity at this time to win this football game.”

For Jyles, it’s an opportunity to win back the starting role.

“It’s a chance every time you take the field,” Jyles said. “It’s not just this week, it was since Week 1. I’ve been trying to do everything I can to put this team in a good situation.

“I have to go out and show the team, not just the coaches, that they can count on me and I can be accountable.”

Which is exactly what Nichols has been showing.

“All you can do is come in and work hard every day,” said the third-year CFLer, who spent his first one on the practice roster and last year shelved on the injured list. “It’s the coaches decision on when you play or if you play.”

And, for now, Nichols is no where near asking what more he has to do to get into a game.

“Everything’s not based off of just one drive or a couple plays here or there.”

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gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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