Veteran quarterback Harris’s status questionable for Edmonton Eskimos
He’s one of only two CFL quarterbacks to start all of his team’s games this season, but Trevor Harris’s status for the Edmonton Eskimos’ home contest Friday night against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats remains uncertain.
Harris suffered an upper-body injury in Edmonton’s 33-17 home loss to the Calgary Stampeders on Sept. 7. The Eskimos were on a bye last week but when they resumed practising Saturday, Harris didn’t participate.
If Harris doesn’t resume practising by Wednesday, chances are good Logan Kilgore will start against the Ticats (9-3). Edmonton (6-6) has dropped three straight games.
Kilgore finished 21-of-28 passing for 242 yards with an interception against Calgary. He also ran for a touchdown.
Harris leads the CFL in pass attempts (441), completions (316), yards (3,706) and fewest interceptions (four).
If Harris, 33, doesn’t start against Hamilton and Mike Reilly is under centre for B.C. in Ottawa on Saturday, the Lions pivot will become the only CFL quarterback to have started all of his club’s games this season. That would be a testament to Reilly’s toughness, given the Lions have allowed a league-high 45 sacks.
Edmonton did make a move Monday, finally landing burly Canadian defensive lineman Stefan Charles.
Charles was among four players Edmonton added to its practice roster. The Eskimos selected the six-foot-five, 323-pound Charles 10th overall in the 2013 CFL draft out of the University of Regina, but he signed as an undrafted free agent with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans that year.
Charles, 31, of Oshawa, Ont., also spent time in the NFL with Buffalo (2013-15), Detroit (2016), Jacksonville and Kansas City (both in 2017). Charles attended the Atlanta Falcons training camp but was released Aug. 31.
Charles appeared in 49 NFL contests, registering 60 tackles, five sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
Exactly where Charles fits in with Edmonton is interesting.
The Eskimos defensive line is solid one with American tackles Almondo Sewell and Mike Moore and Canadian end Kwaku Boateng all having a club-leading six sacks. Nick Usher, an American end, also has five sacks.
Edmonton recently signed former Laval defensive lineman Mathieu Betts, its 2019 top pick. Betts was a late cut of the NFL’s Chicago Bears.
Edmonton’s defence is tops in fewest offensive yards allowed (278.6 per game), passing yards (198), rushing TDs (five) and forced two-and-outs (71). The Eskimos are tied for second in fewest offensive TDs allowed (20) and third in sacks (33), just three behind league-leading Saskatchewan.
STREAKING STAMPEDERS: The Calgary Stampeders kept a number of streaks alive Saturday with their come-from-behind 19-18 home win over the Tiger-Cats.
Defensive back Tre Roberson clinched Calgary’s third consecutive victory by blocking Hamilton kicker Lirim Hajrullahu’s 42-yard field goal attempt with 32 seconds remaining. It capped a solid performance by Roberson, who also had five tackles and an interception in the contest.
Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell finished 24-of-40 passing for 342 yards with a TD to not only improve to 3-0 since returning from injury but also extend his career regular-season record against Hamilton to 12-0. That doesn’t include Mitchell earning MVP honours in Calgary’s 20-16 win over the Ticats in the ’14 Grey Cup game.
Mitchell capped an eight-play, 89-yard march with a 15-yard TD strike to Eric Rogers with under seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to put Calgary ahead 19-18. The Stampeders trailed 17-6 at halftime, but outscored Hamilton 13-1 in the second half.
Since returning under centre after missing seven starts with a pectoral injury, Mitchell is 68-of-108 passing (62.9 per cent) for 859 yards with four TDs and three interceptions.
Calgary (8-4) remains tied with Saskatchewan (8-4) for second in the West Division, two points behind front-running Winnipeg (9-3).
The Stampeders also captured their 15th straight home win over Hamilton, which last won at McMahon Stadium in 2004. The Ticats (9-3) remain atop the East Division ahead of the second-place Montreal Alouettes (6-5).
CFL STATS RACES: A two-game absence didn’t cost Andrew Harris the CFL rushing lead.
Harris missed Winnipeg’s split with the Saskatchewan Roughriders while serving a two-game suspension for a positive drug test. Harris is eligible to resume playing with the Blue Bombers (9-3) on Saturday when they visit the Alouettes.
Harris, a 32-year-old Winnipeg native, remains atop the CFL rushing race with 908 yards, 93 ahead of Edmonton’s C.J. Gable. Both the Bombers and Eskimos were on a bye last week.
Harris is chasing a third straight CFL rushing crown.
Calgary’s Reggie Begelton continues to lead the CFL in receiving yards and this weekend became the league’s first 1,000-yard receiver this season.
Begelton had six catches for 109 yards in Calgary’s victory over Hamilton. That gives him 72 receptions for 1,036 yards with seven TDs.
Hamilton’s Brandon Banks recorded eight catches for 105 yards and a TD against Calgary. That moved him up one spot into second overall with 73 catches for 967 yards with six touchdowns.
Hamilton’s Bralon Addison is the CFL leader in receptions with 74 while Calgary’s Eric Rogers is tops in TD grabs (eight)
Saskatchewan’s Charleston Hughes leads the CFL in sacks with 13 despite not playing in last weekend’s 27-25 home win over Montreal. It’s the fifth straight season and seventh time in eight years that Hughes, 35, has recorded double-digit sacks.
Hughes needs just five more sacks to tie his career high registered in 2013 with Calgary. Saskatchewan’s club record for most sacks in a season is 22 set in 1987 by Bobby Jurasin.
The Riders return to action Sept. 28 in Toronto against the Argonauts.
Calgary linebacker Cory Greenwood has a CFL/career-best 79 tackles. The 34-year-old native of Kingston, Ont., is on pace for 118 tackles, which would leave him five short of Alex Singleton’s club record.
Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press