Blue Bomber Report Record: 3–15–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Injuries force roster revision

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THE loss of Brandon Stewart and Alex Suber impacts more than just the defence, as both play on the special teams coverage units.

Losing Stewart really hurts. He has a team-leading four special teams tackles, and is one of the options for the Bombers when they delve into their bag of tricks. He was the key figure in a fake-punt play in the season opener against the B.C. Lions.

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The team is asking Jovon Johnson, Deon Beasley and Johnny Sears to help fill the void against Edmonton on Friday (8 p.m., TSN, CJOB). The club often rotates different members of the secondary through the spots during a game to keep everyone fresh, head coach Paul LaPolice noted.

"Those are going to be tough losses, so guys are going to have to step up," LaPolice said.

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As for the changes in the secondary, it was status quo for the second straight day.

Here's the rundown: Jonathan Hefney moves into Stewart's linebacker spot, with Johnny Sears switching over from his cornerback position to take over for Hefney. Beasley rejoins the starting group at cornerback (taking Sears' spot), while Darrell Pasco gets a look at Suber's halfback spot. Ian Logan stays at safety, while Johnson remains at his usual cornerback position.

Geesh. Got all that?

LaPolice confirmed the club is trying to avoid inserting defensive back Demond Washington into the starting mix, as they would like to save his talents for kick/punt returns.

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Making his first CFL start against the Eskimos is Pasco, who finally gets a turn in the secondary after spending most of his Bombers career on the practice roster (he's appeared in just two games since September 2011).

The 25-year-old hopes his time with the team will make for a smooth transition into the starting lineup.

"I'm still a rookie and I still have a lot to learn, but I feel pretty confident," he said. "I'm comfortable with this group, which is probably the most important thing right now."

adam.wazny@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @wazoowazny

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 11, 2012 C3

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