The Winnipeg Blue Bombers starting lineup for this Friday’s CFL contest in Vancouver against the BC Lions came into clearer focus Wednesday afternoon following the Bombers final full practice this week.
Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea said WR receiver Aaron Kelly and DB/LB Johnny Sears have both now been ruled out with injuries for Friday’s game.
Kelly, who also missed last week’s game against the Edmonton Eskimos with a knee injury, will be replaced once again by veteran CFLer Romby Bryant. Sears - who pulled his hamstring against Edmonton - will be replaced by Maurice Leggett, who has practiced in his place at safety all week.
O’Shea had hedged earlier in the practice week when asked about the status of Kelly and Sears for Friday’s game.
In addition to Kelly and Sears, the club announced earlier in the week they will also be without starting defensive end Jason Vega and punter Mike Renaud this week. Slotback Cory Watson, as usual, is also out with an injury this week.
Watson’s replacement - Julian Feoli-Gudino - missed practice on Wednesday, raising some eyebrows because he also missed a session earlier in the week. But O’Shea said Feoli-Gudino will make the trip to Vancouver and is expected to play against the Lions.
Meanwhile, linebacker EJ Kuale - who missed practice on Tuesday - was a full participant on Wednesday.
The Bombers are 8-point underdogs against the Lions and O’Shea said the task in front of his team this week is a straight forward one after last week’s 26-3 shellacking at Investors Group Field at the hands of the Edmonton Eskimos.
"I want to get back to winning," said O’Shea. "We’ve taken a week off from that and this doesn’t feel too good and I don’t think the players like it. So we need to get back to doing what we need to do to win - whether that’s special teams, defence, offence, the running game passing.
"Whatever it is - whatever it’s going to take for us to have one more point at the end - is what we’re going to do."
The Bombers haven’t won in BC since August 2011 and the Lions have lost just three times at home since the fall of that same year.
YARDSTICKS - Bombers cornerback Chris Randle was shaken up during practice on Wednesday and sat out for a bit after being spoken to by Bombers medical staff. Randle later returned and was a full participant...The Bombers offensive line on Wednesday looked the same as it has all week, with Dan Knapp at left guard and Cordaro Howard at right tackle. That’s a reverse of their previous positions...The Calgary Stampeders announced Wednesday they have put running back Jon Cornish on the six-game injured list with lingering concussion symptoms...The Bombers brought in speakers to pump in crowd noise for Wednesday’s practice to mimic conditions at BC Place. The Bombers practiced on a field adjacent to Investors Group Field, which they’ve had to vacate this week to make way for this weekend’s Beyonce-Jay-Z concert.