THE CANADIAN PRESS
SURREY, BC -- The B.C. Lions are battling injuries to key players as they prepare to face the Edmonton Eskimos.
Linebacker Adam Bighill will miss Saturday's game in Edmonton due to an ankle injury. Bighill suffered a sprained ankle in the third quarter of last Thursday's win over Toronto after an Argonaut fell on the back of his leg.
Bighill has stated publicly that he expects to be out at least two weeks, but coach Mike Benevides said Monday he is not looking beyond the next game.
"Right now, I know he won't be ready this week,'' said Benevides.
|A big sigh of relief|
It was initially feared that Bighill, a CFL all-star last season, had suffered a broken tibia. But, after he was taken to hospital, it was determined that he had only sprained the limb.
"Bighill's just going to have to go through the program,'' said Benevides. "It's going to take a little bit. The swelling's down, the pain's less. But it's going to take some time.''
Anton McKenzie is expected to take Bighill's place in the starting lineup.
"We're so fortunate to have (McKenzie), a tremendous pro and a tremendous linebacker,'' said Benevides. "To be able to just get him to plug in and play Biggie's position is really fortunate for us.
"Obviously, we'll certainly miss Biggie. There's no doubt about that.''
The Lions could also miss slotback Shawn Gore in Edmonton. He suffered head injury against Toronto after a hard hit in the second quarter forced him out of the game.
Benevides said Gore is going through the league's concussion protocol. If Gore can't play, 11-year veteran Paris Jackson is expected to start in his place.
Another slotback, Nick Moore, also missed practice as he sat out with an ankle injury suffered against Toronto. Moore was able to complete the game and does not know how he suffered the injury, which flared up afterwards.
The 27-year-old Westerville, Ohio native expects to recover in time to suit up against the Eskimos.
"I'll play,'' he vowed.
Meanwhile, Benevides said kicker Paul McCallum (groin), who has yet to play this season, will likely miss the game. Hugh O'Neill, who made three of four field-goal attempts against Toronto, will again handle all of the kicking duties after he was expected to replace the 21-year veteran just on kick-offs and, possibly, punts this season.
Centre Angus Reid also remains out with a back injury suffered early in training camp. Reid has been placed on the nine-game injured reserve list, but can be recalled earlier, if necessary.
Quarterback Travis Lulay said the club is showing its depth by having players ready to replace its injured starters with little difficulty.
"That's hugely important, obviously,'' said Lulay. "I don't know a football team that's ever gotten through a season without anybody getting dinged up. So we're fortunate that we have guys, and a lot of those guys are veteran guys.''