Esks returner leaving Stubler impressed

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:26 AM ET

The element of surprise is gone for Tristan Jackson.

After the Edmonton Eskimos rookie returned a punt for a touchdown a week ago last Thursday against the Argos, the Toronto special teams unit will be a little more prepared today in the rematch at Rogers Centre.

"He's better than I thought he was," Toronto head coach Rich Stubler said of Jackson yesterday.

That's a refreshingly blunt assessment, but reading between the lines, that means the Argos surely will be ready for the rookie speed demon, who put up 194 all-purpose yards (120 on punt returns and 74 yards on kickoff returns) against Toronto back in Edmonton.

"I think it should get a little tougher," Jackson said. "But I still have the same blockers."

While the Argos' downfield coverage players on punts and kickoffs will be more aware of Jackson's quick feet this afternoon, watch for the Boatmen to kick the ball away from the most feared returner in the CFL right now.

With Damien Anderson not dressed, the Esks likely will place Kelly Campbell or Fred Stamps beside Jackson on kickoffs as an alternate returner.

TOOTH REMOVED

Jackson didn't practise on Thursday after having a wisdom tooth removed. And while that doesn't usually qualify as news, the timing of the visit to the dentist's chair was fortunate for the Esks.

"(The wisdom tooth) had been bothering me for a month," Jackson said. "I went to the dentist and they told me to be glad I got here when I did because my face probably would have swollen up and (I would have) been out for a couple of weeks."

The tooth was pulled that day.

With that problem out of the way, the Mississippi native is ready to juke and jive on the football dance floor today.

"Their return guy is special," Stubler said. "He did some things that I haven't seen for a while. I have been there with Giz (Henry Williams). We have to wait and see how (Jackson) does over the long haul. But he did some special things (last Thursday).

"We actually had a hold of him (on one return last Thursday) and spun him and did all those things. And escaped and came out the other side and outran everybody."

Jackson's 61-yard punt return TD romp last week marked his third return major this year, counting two in the pre-season.


Videos

Photos