The Winnipeg Blue Bombers haven’t won in Regina since 2004, an anchor that has hung around this team’s neck for a decade.
But if the Bombers are feeling that weight this week as they prepare to travel once again to Regina for their annual Labour Day Weekend matchup with the Saskatchewan Roughriders this Sunday, you won’t catch head coach Mike O’Shea admitting to it.
On the contrary, O’Shea believes that his team has already shown this season that it can overcome the ghosts of this franchise’s disastrous recent past.
"You’re asking about a psychological hurdle and I think we’ve made strides in that department too," O’Shea told reporters Wednesday afternoon at Investors Group Field after his team returned to the practice field for the first time since a win over the Montreal Alouettes last Friday.
"I think that was part of the deal coming here was to change to a more positive mindset to take to the field at all times. And we’ve done well with that, so I don’t anticipate any problems in that regard."
Three defensive starters that were absent from last week’s win over Montreal -- LB EJ Kuale, LB/DB Johnny Sears and DE Jason Vega -- were all active participants at practice today but it isn’t clear yet how the three fit into O’Shea’s plan against the Riders.
Vega split first team repetitions with Kashawn Fraser and O’Shea said he hasn’t yet decided how those two players will fit into Sunday’s scheme. He said it’s also not yet clear how -- or even if -- Sears fits into Sunday’s lineup.
O’Shea did say, however, that Kuale is a confirmed player on Sunday.
Meanwhile, another roster question mark popped up during Wednesday’s practice when centre Steve Morley left practice early with what O’Shea described as a shoulder injury.
O’Shea said he didn’t believe the injury is serious, but wasn’t sure if Morley would practice Thursday.
The Bombers' offensive line is already a bit makeshift this week. Patrick Neufeld, who got hurt against Montreal, didn’t practice and practice roster player Jarvis Jones was taking Neufeld’s reps at right guard on Wednesday.