Edmonton Eskimos Name Backup Matt Nichols as Their Starter for West Semifinal

By Korobanik, John | The Canadian Press, November 12, 2014 | Go to article overview

Edmonton Eskimos Name Backup Matt Nichols as Their Starter for West Semifinal


Korobanik, John, The Canadian Press


Nichols to start Eskimos' semifinal game

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EDMONTON - Mike Reilly's status is uncertain heading into the CFL West Division semifinal, and the all-star Edmonton Eskimos quarterback isn't about to make it any clearer.

Matt Nichols has been named the Eskimos starting quarterback for Sunday's semifinal against the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The team said Reilly will be available to play, but he was limited in practice Wednesday and seems to still be bothered by an unspecified injury suffered in a game two weeks ago.

Reilly, who missed Edmonton's loss last weekend in Regina, told reporters in a pre-practice media session he was not going to talk about his "lower body" injury. Coach Chris Jones would say only that Reilly would be assessed as the week progressed to see how he is recovering.

"I'll be happy to answer any questions, but I'm not going to go into any details about my injury," Reilly opened the media session by saying. "At this point ... I'll be available to play. Whether that's in a starting capacity or off the bench that's yet to be determined"

Reilly was throwing the ball well Wednesday but obviously did not have the same mobility as before Nov. 1, when was hurt late in the Eskimos' 37-3 win over B.C. Lions. He limped off about halfway through the two-hour practice.

"Right now it's just a lot of rest," he said. "There's some swelling to let get out. Until that happens, there's not much you can do."

Nichols, who played last week in the 24-17 loss in Regina, said he appreciated being named the starter early so he could spend the entire week preparing.

"Last week was great to knock some rust off," he said. "It's tough to sit out for a couple of months and go in and catch up to the speed of the game right away. You can mentally put yourself in the position that you're on the field. When you're backup you can't put yourself out there mentally until something happens.

"I've been up here a long time. I feel like I've seen a lot of things in this league, I know what kind of game it's going to be and I feel very prepared. …

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