FANTUZ OUT, WALKER IN
GUELPH, ONT. -- The Hamilton Tiger-Cats will be missing one star player from their lineup but will mark the return of another when they host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers tonight.
While slotback Andy Fantuz will miss today's contest with a lower-body injury, Tiger-Cats running back Chevon Walker will be in the lineup for the first time this season when the 0-2 Tiger-Cats face the 1-1 Bombers.
Walker rushed for 656 yards on just 118 carries in 2012 and was gushing on Friday about the chance to finally get to play in 2013 after losing his job in the pre-season -- thanks in large part to an injury -- to CJ Gable.
"I'm ready to play football, man. I'm ready to help my team," Walker said Friday afternoon during a media availability at the Ticats offices in downtown Hamilton. "Yeah, I definitely feel like it's time to let loose. I definitely want to make a statement."
Walker will have a retooled Bombers defensive line to work against. The Bombers will have Jake Thomas starting at one of their tackle positions this week in place of an injured Bryant Turner and they will also have defensive end Dexter Davis making his rookie start in place of Freddie Harris, who is a healthy scratch this week.
The Bombers have also added defensive tackle Marquis Frazier and returner Aaron Woods to their 46-man roster. Head coach Tim Burke said Frazier will play in a rotational role; Woods is not expected to play.
On offence, the Bombers will start Isaac Anderson in place of injured slotback Terrence Edwards.
SITUATION TO WATCH
The Bombers defence was perfect in situations last week in which the Montreal Alouettes were second-and-seven or longer, denying the Als a conversion 16 of 16 times. That would seem to nicely set up the Bombers defence this week against a Hamilton offence that was 0-13 in those same situations in a loss to Edmonton last week.
SITUATION TO AVOID
The Bombers turned the ball over on their very first offensive possession in each of the last two weeks and are dead-last in the CFL in turnover ratio at minus-6.
THREE TIMES A CHARM
The Bombers have owned the third quarter. In back-to-back games against the Montreal Alouettes to open the season, the Bombers outscored their opponents in the third quarter by a combined score of 20-2 and put up 177 yards of combined offence to just 28 yards for opponents.
HAVE A DOUBLE-DOUBLE
"It's good for the city and it's good for the organization and hopefully we'll get some free coffee."
--Ticats LB Jamall Johnson on Friday's announcement the new stadium in Hamilton will be called Tim Hortons Field.
"I try not to revisit those days back when I played for coach Austin."
--Bombers DB Jovon Johnson, who squabbled constantly with Ticats head coach Kent Austin when the two were with Saskatchewan in 2007.