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Blue Bomber Report

Bombers reshuffle decimated O-line

Knapp, Jones expected to start against Esks

THE only constant at Investors Group Field these days is constant change and Wednesday was no different as the revolving door that is the Winnipeg Blue Bombers continued to spin.

The Bombers added a new running back in Bradley Randle -- a recent cut of the Minnesota Vikings -- and yet another new offensive lineman in Canadian Terriss Paliwoda, who was most recently with the Toronto Argonauts.

Jovon Johnson


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The Bombers also cut running back Shawnbrey McNeal, whose time in Winnipeg lasted the grand total of eight days on the practice roster.

Layered on top of that, the team also announced some new starters and position changes for Friday night's '2-9 Bowl' at IGF between the Bombers and Edmonton Eskimos.

Newly acquired offensive linemen Dan Knapp and Jarvis Jones -- a pair of imports the team only signed on Tuesday and who have never played before in the CFL -- will start at right tackle and left tackle, respectively against the Eskimos, head coach Tim Burke said.

"It will be tough because they haven't played in awhile. And the other thing is they're probably going to see some things (in the CFL) that they haven't seen before," said Burke.

While injured veteran tackle Glenn January returned to practice on Wednesday, Burke said January's still too banged up to count on for this week.

"We want to go into a game with two healthy linemen. We don't want to go through what we went through last week," said Burke, referencing his club's loss in Edmonton last Saturday in which two Bombers offensive linemen, including January, went down with injuries and the team had a defensive lineman in Jake Thomas playing guard to finish the game.

On top of all those changes, Burke also announced that Bombers cornerback Jovon Johnson will be making his first start at safety since Nov. 5, 2011, in place of injured Cauchy Muamba. Defensive back Marty Markett will start at Johnson's spot at corner and newcomer Akeem Foster, acquired just last week from B.C. in the Buck Pierce trade, will start at slotback in place of injured Cory Watson.

"I've been around here a long time and I know pretty much every position in the secondary if I have to move," said Johnson. "It's different (playing safety), just because you see things differently. You're pretty much the last line of defence, protecting guys that are covering. So it could be a good opportunity to make plays."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 19, 2013 D4

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