The infirmary is still crowded, but the Winnipeg Blue Bombers did get some positive news from their sick bay today.
Both receiver Terrence Edwards and defensive lineman Bryant Turner will be in action this Saturday in Hamilton in a crucial match-up with the Tiger-Cats, although there will be another change at the (SAM) strong-side linebacker spot with Johnny Sears stepping in for Demond Washington, who is out with a ‘stinger’ in his neck.
The Bombers, 5-11, need a win over the Ticats, also 5-11, and for the Edmonton Eskimos to lose Sunday in Montreal to keep their slim playoff hopes alive for another week. Winnipeg must win both its remaining games and have the Esks drop both of theirs in order to be playing meaningful football in November.
"It looks like Bryant Turner WILL play this week," said head coach Tim Burke. "And Terrence Edwards will play at wide receiver."
Sears will be the fifth different Bomber to line up at the SAM linebacker spot this year after Brandon Stewart, Johnathan Hefney, Jovon Johnson and Demond Washington all took turns there.
"The spot physically is good for (Sears) because he’s a big guy with good speed," said Burke. "That’s really the kind of guy you want at SAM linebacker. We had to rely on him so much on the outside earlier this year (at corner and halfback) and so he never got a chance to be that position. We’ll try him this week and see how he does.
"Some guys I would think they don’t relish that spot so then you have to do a sales job. Today, I just said, ‘OK, who wants to be the SAM this week?’ It’s getting to that point of the season."
The Bombers return home for their regular-season finale on Nov. 3rd against the Montreal Alouettes – and a second chance to say farewell to the stadium that has been the club’s home for the past 59 years.
The club announced today it will hold a closing ceremony at midfield after the game. Bomber players and alumni will take part and fans are encouraged to stick around for a video tribute, firework display and a speech by Bomber and Canadian Football Hall of Famer Joe Poplawski. The Bombers will open the 2013 season in the brand new Investors Group Field.
The game is also the CFL’s annual Hall of Fame Game and this year’s inductees include former Bomber greats Milt Stegall and the late Tyrone Jones along with Damon Allen, Jack Abendschan and Eric Lapointe and David Braley and Peter Connellan in the builder category.