EDMONTON -- In what has essentially become a weekly event, the Edmonton media gathered in front of both Steven Jyles and Kerry Joseph’s lockers inside Commonwealth Stadium, hoping one of the team’s pivots would tip their hat as to who will be under centre come kickoff.
This week, the swarm of beat writers and reporters had little trouble identifying the main man in Edmonton, as Jyles was declared the Green and Gold’s number one QB for their Saturday night affair with the BC Lions.
While missing three games slowly recovering from a calf injury, Jyles witnessed his Eskimos play to three-straight losses, the last of which he entered in relief effort, only to throw an interception on one of his eight passes.
So as a result of the troubles both Jyles and his teammates may have endured in the better part of the last month, the soon-to-be 30-year-old says he has plenty to prove in Week 13.
“I play every game to prove something,” said Jyles.
“I try to prove to myself that I’m an elite quarterback and I’m going into this game to execute at a high level and to get a win,” he added.
Jyles will get his first start since sustaining an injury in Edmonton’s Week 9 win over the Toronto Argonauts, a game that saw Joseph receive a heap of praise for his strong performance in relief of the ailing Jyles.
Joseph then went on to put together two strong outings in tight losses to the Calgary Stampeders on Labour Day and the rematch game the following week.
The veteran passer completed 44 of his 62 attempts for 586 yards and three touchdowns in games that were both decided by a last-second field goal attempt.
But his success took a turn last week, as Joseph struggled against the Tiger-Cats and was eventually taken out of the game.
So while this might seem like an opportunity for Jyles to shift the spotlight back in his direction, he claims his focus is strictly on getting the Esks back into the win column.
“My focus this whole season has been to win ball games, and that’s all I’m worried about – just winning,” said Jyles.
Having spent the majority of the last four weeks on the sidelines, it’s fair to assume that Jyles has likely accumulated an abundance of rust.
While the Esks have had their issues getting the passing game going this season, Jyles doesn’t see any difference in his preparations.
“There are some things you have to work on, but I was still throwing even with my injury,” Jyles told a scrum of reporters.
“It’s not going to be too much to try and re-gain, it’s just a matter of getting that game feeling and getting my timing back,” he added.