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Edmonton Eskimos Training Camp Day 5: Who will backup C.J. Gable?

With a team that has gone through a major overhaul one thing does remain the same. C.J. Gable is back as the Edmonton Eskimos starting running back.

Gable is coming off his first ever 1,000 yard rushing season, recording 1,063 yards and scoring seven touchdowns.

Head coach Jason Maas expects more of the same from Gable this season.

“Ultimately we want all of our starters to play 18 games and C.J. can do that and be reliable for us.”

READ MORE: Edmonton Eskimos offering free admission to Sunday’s game for wildfire evacuees

While the starter is known, the backup isn’t and the competition for the spot behind Gable was expected to be fierce.

A couple of candidates for that spot didn’t have a good day on Thursday which featured another set of two-a-day practices.

Both Shaq Cooper and Martese Jackson went down with what appeared to be lower-body injuries. That left Alex Taylor and Jordan Robinson as the men behind Gable.

READ MORE: Edmonton Eskimos Training Camp Day 4: Let’s get physical

Robinson enjoyed a solid pre-season last year, recording a rushing touchdown and a punt return touchdown. He’s competing the kick and punt return spot as well but says it’s his work as a running back that will keep him on the roster, especially in the area on pass protection.

“It starts off at the running back position. If you can’t block, you’re not going to be here and you’ll get exposed real quick,” Robinson said. “Obviously the big thing in our running back group is protection, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re not going to play.

“If you don’t know who you have to pick up, you’re not going to play. Knowing is one part and doing it on the job is another part so just doing what you got to do protection wise and then fit in where you can fit in.”

Eskimos Player Profile

13 – Ricky Collins Jr. – Receiver
6’0″ 198 pounds
Born: March 5, 1992 in Tyler, Texas
School: Texas A and M Commerce

B.C. Lions’ Ricky Collins Jr. (3) makes a reception as Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Crezdon Butler defends during the first half of a CFL football game in Vancouver, on Saturday August 25, 2018.

B.C. Lions’ Ricky Collins Jr. (3) makes a reception as Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Crezdon Butler defends during the first half of a CFL football game in Vancouver, on Saturday August 25, 2018.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Receiver Ricky Collins Jr. was part of the Eskimos free agent haul in February. While several players were going west over the mountains from Edmonton to Vancouver, Collins came east to join the Eskimos.

READ MORE: Edmonton Eskimos free agency ticker: Quarterback Mike Reilly to B.C. Lions, Esks sign quarterback Trevor Harris

Last year with the B.C. Lions, Collins played 17 games collecting 60 passes for 611 yards and two TDs, returning to form after playing just one game in 2017. Collins’ best season was his rookie year with Saskatchewan in 2016 — 720 yards in 14 games.

He is hoping to put up big numbers this season catching passes from Trevor Harris

“All quarterbacks have their little touch on the ball, Trev, he throws a very accurate ball and doesn’t make you work for it too much,” said Collins on his new QB.

“It’s very nice. Something that I can get accustomed to.”

Audibles

Offensive lineman Jacob Ruby talks about taking a step forward this and about establishing chemistry with a new group on offence.

View link »

Roster notes

On Thursday, the Eskimos signed International receiver Jake Smith.

The Eskimos will hold a 40 minute practice at 10 a.m. on Friday morning. They will host the B.C. Lions on Sunday afternoon in the first pre-season game for the Eskimos. Game time is at 2p.m. on The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium.

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