Edmonton Eskimos Defence Getting Healthy on Eve of Clash With BC Lions

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Eskimos Defence
Edmonton's Alex Bazzie (54) and his team-mates celebrate a score, during CFL game Edmonton Eskimos vs Saskatchewan Roughriders, at The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton. On Thursday, August 2, 2018, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Eskimos Make Roster Moves.

The Eskimos made a number of roster moves this week. On August 6th they released International Defensive Lineman Rakim Cox and International Defensive Back Maurice McKnight. International Defensive Lineman Gerald Rivers followed them on the 7th.

These moves made room for a number of players returning from injury. Last week International Defensive Back Mercy Maston and National Defensive Back Arjen Colquhoun returned from the 6 game injured list. As reported by 630 CHED’s Dave Campbell International Defensive Back Forrest Hightower and International Defensive Lineman Mike Moore were removed from the 6-game injured list and may play against the Lions.

Secondary Gains Depth.

The calvary is now set to arrive in the Eskimo’s secondary. While none of the returning players are superstars, they all have shown flashes of potential. Mercy Maston recorded 27 defensive tackles over 7 games in 2017 before suffering an Achilles injury late in the season. Maston’s season debut at Cornerback against the Roughriders went well. He recorded four defensive tackles and did not give up any big plays. He should see significant playing time during the rest of the season as long as he maintains his performance.

Arjen Colquhoun’s return should not be overlooked. The 2016 2nd round pick put up impressive numbers in 2017, recording 26 defensive tackles and an interception over 9 games. While Colquhoun did not start last week, it may not be long before he sees a start in the secondary. His national status provides options for roster flexibility in the face of potential injuries. As well, Colquhoun’s demonstrated talent over previous games makes him a legitimate option to grab a start if someone struggles.

Defensive Line Gels.

Lead by the impressive play of Kwaku Boateng, the Eskimos defensive line is playing well. Speaking with Dave Campbell this week, Eskimos Defensive Line Coach Demetrius Maxie described the gelling of his players, “Every week they’re getting better and they’re starting to get a feel for each other and starting to play off each other.  They have been explosive and have been playing great games with each other.”

While this week’s additions won’t immediately replace any starters, they provide valuable depth. Mike Moore is in his third year in the league and has shown flashes of success but unfortunately never sustained it. While Moore started the season at Defensive Tackle before landing on the 6 game injured list, Jake Ceresna has done a decent job filling in. The Eskimos can play either player without losing too much production.

Opportunity Awaits in BC.

With a healthy Eskimos defence, they can take the next step forward. Having depth throughout the secondary and defensive line will provide options in case of struggles or injury. The next few weeks will provide an opportunity for the reinforced group to play against an average opponent in the BC Lions and a sub-par Montreal offence. If the Eskimos can take advantage of these opportunities they should be well prepared to face the Stampeders during the Labour Week games. The cavalry is here, now its time to see how the battle goes.

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