Esks' Boyd will play, Messam to sit

Edmonton Eskimos running back Jerome Messam. (AMBER BRACKEN/QMI Agency)

Edmonton Eskimos running back Jerome Messam. (AMBER BRACKEN/QMI Agency)

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:22 PM ET

For Kavis Reed, keeping Cory Boyd on the Edmonton Eskimos roster for Sunday's East Division semifinal against the Argonauts and deleting Jerome Messam was something he did not come to easily.

"It was an extremely tough decision," Reed, the Eskimos head coach, said on Saturday. "With Hugh (Charles) being available from a health perspective, we knew we wanted him back in the lineup. We had to consider the ratio complication with Jerome (a non-import) and Cory (an import)."

Reed stressed that no message was being sent to Messam. Charles led the Eskimos with 887 rushing yards during the regular season, but missed the last two games with a right knee injury.

One reason the Argos released Boyd in August was his inability, or lack of desire, to block. Reed insisted that was not an issue.

"We're very pleased with his protection," Reed said. "That was also part of our decision as well. A running back has to be three-dimensional. He has to be able to be a receiver out of the backfield, with the ball in his hand as a runner, and protection is critically important from our perspective. Cory has done a wonderful job of that."


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