Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Tim Burke says the odds that injured wide-receiver -- and 2012 CFL rookie of the year -- Chris Matthews will be able to suit up for Winnipeg’s regular season opener Thursday night have improved slightly.
"We will know the morning of the game whether he can play or not," Burke told reporters this afternoon after a sweltering practice on the club’s practice field near Investors Group Field.
"Right now, I’d say it’s closer to him playing than not playing. It depends on how fast he can heal up in the next 48 hours... He’s slightly probable."
That’s a marginal improvement over Matthews’ prognosis on Monday, when Burke said he was "questionable" with an ankle injury suffered in practice on Sunday.
The Bombers open the regular season -- and officially open Investors Group Field -- against the Montreal Alouettes Thursday evening with what will be the first regular season game of the 2013 CFL season.
A special late kickoff time is scheduled for 8 p.m. to allow time for a pre-game ceremony.
The game is sold out, it was announced Tuesday. Capacity at Investors Group Field is 33,500, an increase of about 4,000 seats over old Canad Inns Stadium.
Meanwhile, the oddsmakers continue to dump all over the Bombers chances in 2013.
The website bodog.ca on Tuesday listed Bombers starting QB Buck Pierce as the longest shot on the board at 20-1 to lead the CFL in passing yards in 2013.
The next longest shot is Edmonton’s Mike Reilly, who is listed at 10-1. Montreal’s Anthony Calvillo is favoured to lead the league in passing yards at 11-4, followed by BC’s Travis Lulay and Hamilton’s Henry Burris at 7-2.