Chris Milo hoping to get his kicks with Roughriders
The Saskatchewan Roughriders are going into Week 7 with a question in the kicking game.
Eddie Johnson has been unable to kick in practice over the last three weeks due to a sore leg.
Although Johnson has been able to kick in games, the problem is now his production. Johnson's punting has been erratic and he's made just two of his last five field goal attempts. With Luca Congi on the nine-game injured list, rookie Christopher Milo may get his first shot in a regular season game if Johnson doesn't show he can perform at a high level during warm-ups on Friday night.
"I've been waiting for this since training camp and if it's my time on Friday than I'm going to give everything I can to help out this team," said the 24-year old Milo after Wednesday.
Waiting in the wings
Johnson is the preferred starter for Friday night's game but as was the case last week, he'll come out before the game and leave Milo wondering if he'll be called upon to play.
But the young kicker is mentally prepared if he finds out an hour before the game that he's the Roughriders man.
"You have to prepare the same way every week and that's assuming you're going to play. In case something does happen, I'll be ready."
Milo may need to get this opportunity now before veteran Luca Congi is brought of the nine-game after the Labour Day Classic or he may be buried on the practice roster for the rest of the season.
Milo missed both his field goal attempts and punted five times for an average 30.2 yards in the pre-season.
Despite the inconsistency in the pre-season, Special Teams Coordinator Craig Dickenson believe Milo will be able to perform at a high level.
"His field goal kicking is fairly polished. He came in as a proven field goal kicker but I think he's even improved at that. Obviously to play at this level you have to be able to do both and be able to do both well and so far he's done a nice job of progressing up to this point."
While his field goal kicking is polished, Milo has been working hard at improving his directional punting.
"I did that through my four years at college and hopefully it won't be any different. The only thing I'm going to have to worry about is the wind over here but we'll take care of that on game day."
It's also possible the team will dress both Johnson and Milo if the switch needs to be made during the game. The Roughriders do have an extra non-import spot after trading Luc Mullinder to the Montreal Alouettes.
News and Notes
Receiver Dallas Baker took part in his first practice since his trade from Montreal on Monday. The 6'3 receiver donned number 86.
The Roughriders also cleared receiver Tyrre Burks and defensive end Shawn Lemon through physicals.
Wes Cates didn't practice at all for the third straight week and will likely miss Friday's game against the Stampeders.
The team has not yet announced a sell-out for Friday's game.
Edited by News Talk Radio's Jamie Nye
This story was first reported at 4:45pm on August 10th, 2011