TORONTO — The Edmonton Eskimos will have to wait until next year (or in the case of a crossover playoff matchup) to get another chance at stopping RB James Wilder Jr.
The bruising tailback who posted 257 all purpose yards against the Eskimos three weeks ago will be out of action when Toronto visits Commonwelth Stadium on Saturday night.
Wilder absorbed a hit in last week’s loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders after colliding with linebacker Henoc Muamba. Wilder left the game after the fourth quarter hit and did not return.
The loss is significant for an Argos team that is not only looking to clinch a playoff berth but secure top spot in the East with a win and an Ottawa loss.
Since taking over the starting spot in the backfield, Wilder has dominated opposing defences with 452 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and adding another 265 yards out of the backfield in just four games.
Brandon Whitaker will return to the lineup as a result. In eight games, Whitaker has 318 rushing yards to accompany 220 receiving. The 9-year CFL veteran started all but one game for the Boatmen before Wilder took over but was used more in pass protection in Marc Trestman’s offence.