Esks say Reilly out as starter in Western Semi, Reilly says not so fast

(WATCH: The Edmonton Eskimos will be without Mike Reilly in this weekend’s west division semi-final, at least for the kickoff. Quinn Phillips explains.)

EDMONTON – Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly won’t start in Sunday’s Western Semi-Final against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, at least that’s what the organization announced Wednesday morning.

According to the Esks, Matt Nichols will get the start, but Reilly is reportedly progressing well from an injury he suffered on Nov. 1 against the BC Lions and is expected to be available to play in Sunday’s semi.

But late Wednesday morning Reilly said he had not given up hope of taking the first snap on Sunday.

“It’s early in the week so at this point – as I said – I’ll be available to play, whether that’s in a starting capacity or off the bench has yet to be determined.”

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He admitted he hasn’t done a lot to test the injury to this point, but said he feels “okay”.

“I can throw a football just fine…well, as good as I ever have. I don’t know if that’s great or somewhere in the middle,” the veteran pivot joked.

“In terms of pain and stuff like that there’s nothing that’s an issue for me right now.”

Reilly reportedly sustained a broken bone in his foot when the Esks were up by 27 points against the Lions with 12 minutes left in the game, although he and the organization have refused to provide details about the injury.

Questions have surfaced whether head coach Chris Jones made the right decision in keeping Reilly on the field during such a lopsided contest.

“My plan is always to play a complete game. I don’t ever want to come out of a football game, and I know firsthand how quickly things could turn,” said Reilly.

“I hired Coach Jones to coach this football team and I stand behind in the decisions he’s made. So far, it’s got us to this point, and I’ll continue to support him, said Ed Hervey, Eskimos G.M.

Reilly didn’t play in Edmonton’s last regular season game against the Riders last Saturday – a 24-17 win for Saskatchewan.

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He was one of nine Eskimo players named to the 2014 West Division All-Star Team.

The 29-year-old threw for 3,327 yards, 16 touchdowns, and ran for a career high eight touchdowns.

On Wednesday, Edmonton also announced quarterback Justin Goltz was signed. Goltz spent four seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers between 2010-2013.

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