Winnipeg Blue Bombers offensive lineman Steve Morley missed practice Monday with a hamstring injury but is expected to start at centre for his team's regular-season opener this Thursday against the Toronto Argonauts.
"He has a little tweak in his hamstring," head coach Mike O'Shea told reporters. "Steve expects to play. I mean, we will have to assess it as we go along, but I talked to him today and yeah, I expect him to play, he wants to play, he expects to play.
"Once again, if he's able to, we'll see. But he wants to -- so that's a good thing."
The Bombers are already banged up on defence heading into Thursday's game, with three projected starters -- cornerback Donovan Alexander, linebacker Korey Banks and halfback Alex Suber -- all sitting out with assorted ailments.
And the injury woes don't end there. O'Shea said both his tailbacks -- veteran Will Ford and rookie Nic Grigsby -- are still less than 100 per cent this week and it remains to be seen which one will start versus Toronto.
O'Shea seemed to suggest Grigsby is still pencilled in as the starter, but Ford -- who missed almost all of training camp before coming back last week -- remains an option.
"Because Nic was banged up, we're still trying to see how he is at the last possible moment, right? That's why Will is on the reserve -- so he's ready to go if we have to go that way," said O'Shea.
Ford said he is still less than his best, but he stretched out his stride for the first time during practice on Monday and came away feeling well.
"Today was probably the first day I really opened up a little bit and I feel good about it. I personally don't feel like I'm 100 per cent, but we'll see what happens."
YARDSTICKS...The Bombers announced Monday they have added non-import linebacker Kyle Norris to their practice roster. Norris was drafted 24th overall in the 2013 CFL draft by the Edmonton Eskimos and spent last season with the Esks... The online gambling site bodog.ca has pegged Winnipeg's over-under for wins in 2014 at 6.5. The expansion Ottawa Redblacks are rock-bottom at six wins, while Calgary and B.C. have the highest over-under at 11 wins.