LIVESTREAM PPV: CFL – Thanksgiving Day – Edmonton Eskimos @Saskatchewan Roughriders, Oct. 8, 2p (4p ET, 10p CET)

REGINA — The log jammed West Division could get even more complex when the Edmonton Eskimos and Saskatchewan Roughriders close out Thanksgiving Weekend at new Mosaic Stadium.

The Esks have lost four of their last five games, with the BC Lions hot on their tails for the final spot in the post-season. A win against the Riders would put Edmonton in a tie with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for third seed in the West.

Meanwhile, the Riders are in sole possession of second place in the division and are trying to lock down a home playoff date.

Needless to say, both teams will be hungry for a win on Thanksgiving Monday.

The Eskimos struggled in all three phases last week, falling to the Bombers 30-3 at home. Quarterback Mike Reilly had some uncharacteristic struggles in the loss, throwing for just 164 yards with no touchdown passes and two interceptions.

“It was just not good football by us offensively,” Reilly told Esks.com after the game. “I’m the quarterback so that’s on me to get the guys rolling in terms of moving the chains and executing the offence. I have to figure out what to improve on and there’s going to be a lot after watching that film.”

Defensive lineman Jake Ceresna was a bright spot for the Eskimos in the loss. The 24-year-old managed to charge past the offensive line twice for a pair of quarterback sacks.

Reilly will have one of his top weapons back in the offence Monday with the return of Duke Williams. The CFL’s top receiver left last week’s game with a shoulder injury after making just two catches. There were initial fears that the 25-year-old could miss significant time, but the team confirmed earlier this week that the injury was not serious.

It will have to be all hands on deck for the Eskimos when they travel Saskatchewan. Head Coach Jason Maas says they know their backs are against the wall.

“We know what we have to do,” said Maas. “A sense of urgency, absolutely. I think our guys understand… this is playoff style games down the stretch. We’re not guaranteed anything right now. We have to go out and play and earn our way in. That starts week-to-week and day-to-day. We haven’t done well enough the past two weeks.”

The Esks have only won two games on the road this season, while the Riders are 4-3 at new Mosaic Stadium.

Saskatchewan held off the Montreal Alouettes on the road for a narrow 34-29 victory last week. Quarterback Zach Collaros shone in the victory, throwing for a 394 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The 30-year-old received Shaw Top Performer of the Week honours for his impressive play.

Kyran Moore and Shaquille Evans both surpassed the 100-yard receiving mark.

The Riders have arguably been the top team in the league throughout the back half of the season, boasting a 6-1 record dating back to Week 10.

However, Saskatchewan is refusing to rest on its laurels.

“All these games out here matter,” Collaros told Riderville.com. “They’re big games because everybody seems to be winning games, especially in our division right now. It’s a big one. We certainly know that, and you can feel it…. but once you’re out there and the whistle blows and the its first snap, its just another football game.”

It appeared the Riders might have top receiver Naaman Roosevelt back in the lineup when he was taken off the six-game injured list earlier this week. The team’s leading receiver sprained his knee in the teams close 30-29 victory over the Toronto Argonauts back in Week 15.

It turned out the move was made too soon. After a day back at practice, the 30-year-old was put back on the six-game.

“We were hoping he was a little farther along,” said head coach Chris Jones. “If it was the Grey Cup, he could probably go out and play. But it’s one of those deals where we’re just going to try and give him some weeks to get more healthy before he’s able to help contribute to our football team.”

There was also some concern that Evans would be out as well after taking a hard tumble at practice and was not on the field Saturday. However, the Notre Dame product will play on Monday.

By The Numbers:

12 – Rushing touchdowns by both Eskimos quarterbacks Mike Reilly and James Franklin this season. The record for touchdowns by a pivot in a single season is 14 by Doug Flutie in 1991.

13 – Games in a row that Mike Reilly had thrown a touchdown before it was snapped last week. He has thrown at least one touchdown in 21 of his last 23 games.

23 – Points given up by the Edmonton Eskimos last week on a total of seven turnovers.

36 – Sacks this season by the Saskatchewan Roughriders. That is already nine more than they had all of last year.

CFL fans have a lot to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Monday with this all-west matchup that is sure to be intriguing.

Collaros has been on his game this year, completely turning around his W-L record after an 0-12 skid in Hamilton. The pivot ranks second in the CFL with a .700 win percentage in 2018. Last week the Riders racked up 502 net yards of offence, their best yardage total since July of 2015.

However, the Esks may have the most powerful offensive weapon of all in quarterback Mike Reilly. The 33-year-old will surly have some extra motivation on Monday after a lacklustre performance the previous week.

Turkey and CFL football. Does it get any better than that?

– With files from Esks.com/Riderville.com

AFI, Yare Media and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Yare Media and the Canadian Football League to present 2018 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

LIVE STREAM PPV: CFL – Edmonton Eskimos @Saskatchewan Roughriders, Oct. 8, 2p (4p ET, 10p CET)

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Today's CFL is more than just our great game of football. It's fans sharing their excitement for what they see on the field, and what they experience off it. Stay up to date on all the non-stop action at CFL.ca. And join all of Canada as we celebrate the 105th Grey Cup, presented by Shaw, this November in Ottawa.
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