MONTREAL -- Despite the numerous injuries to key players in the Montreal offence, their leader – Anthony Calvillo – still believes the unit is a force to be reckoned with.
Heading into Friday night’s matchup vs. the Edmonton Eskimos at Commonwealth Stadium, the Alouettes will be without running back Brandon Whitaker as well as slotback Jamel Richardson.
Whitaker is still suffering from a bruised rib that he sustained in Week 6’s win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, while Richardson continues to be plagued by a hamstring injury that he tweaked during practice on Wednesday.
Richardson will be replaced by Bo Bowling, while Whitaker will see his carries transfer over to backup running back Victor Anderson.
“We have guys in place to help us win games and Victor is going to be able to do many of the same things that we ask from Brandon,” admitted Calvillo. “We have full confidence in his ability and that he is going to go in there and help us get the win.”
Anderson enters Week 8 with just four touches for four yards in 2012, but does have one touchdown to his name thanks to a late score he registered against the Blue Bombers.
Because of the 24-year-old’s inexperience, Calvillo has been allotting an extra amount of time towards talking strategy with Anderson, hoping that the extra sessions will provide them both with an added familiarity with each other before they take to the field in Edmonton.
“There’s always certain routes, whether pass or run plays, where we pull guys to the side and work more diligently with them to make sure that we are on the same page,” revealed Calvillo who turns 40 next week.
“This week we have been doing it with Victor. Since he’s the starter this week, making sure all of the mechanics are in place was very important.”
On the sidelines, Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman believes that despite the injuries, the Als have a unique opening in front of them.
“This is a great opportunity to find out more about ourselves against a great team,” admitted Trestman. “At the end of the day, we’re without some good players. Other good players now have to come in and seize the opportunity.”
Winning in Edmonton has been anything but easy this season, with the Eskimos being the only team yet to lose at home in 2012. Alouettes linebacker Rod Davis knows how daunting a home field it can be, having had the chance to enjoy it in his Eskimos days.
“I spent three years of my career here,” recalled Davis who is set to make his first return to Edmonton since joining the Alouettes as a free agent in February. “I see this as a home away from home game for me.”
“Playing in Alberta certainly brings out a different feel for me and I’m just excited to get down to business,” vowed Davis. “I know that my job is to win my individual matchup against the opposing team’s tackle, and that’s what I will do try to help us pick up another road victory.”With files from MontrealAlouettes.com