No doubt Blue Bomber fans are a little upset at not seeing Doug Brown in the middle of the Winnipeg defensive line -- that's a given.
Also an automatic: The Eskimos being quite happy with not having the 6-foot-8, 290-pound Brown on the Winnipeg side.
"I gave him a hug -- that's enough for me," Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed said on the eve of taking on the Bombers at Canad Inns Stadium. "I prefer not seeing him on the field, even in pre-game. I'm not disappointed. I hope everything is OK with him."
Brown's injury -- a rare pairing of words considering he's only missed three games since the start of the 2007 season (two due to illness) -- is a foot problem, though it's not known how severe the injury is or what the timetable may be after tonight's contest.
"It a whole bunch of different colours that it normally isn't," Brown said, not willing to speculate on his chances of returning to the lineup next week. "It's like it got stuck in a tanning machine."
His omission means the Bombers have set up a rotation between Don Oramasionwu and Bryant Turner next to starter Dorian Smith, who becomes the elder statesman on the D-line now. The 6-foot-3, 267-pound Smith has been lining up beside Brown since 2009.
"It'll be a little different not having Big Doug next to me," he said with a laugh. "It's always a big comfort having him there but I'll have Don-O next to me now. He's pretty big, too, I guess."
Oramasionwu, out of the University of Manitoba Bisons program, is listed at 6-foot-3, 289 pounds, by the way.
Reed, Winnipeg's defensive co-ordinator in 2010, on his unique position of designing an offensive attack against a defence he knows like the back of his hand: "It was a test of my emotional IQ; being able to handle coaching against these guys when you have such an emotional affinity to them."
Win or lose tonight, chances are both Bombers coach Paul LaPolice and Reed will be buying each other dinner at some point this weekend. With a road game in Montreal next week, Edmonton has decided to stay in Winnipeg until Wednesday. Always the good hosts, the Bombers are letting the Eskimos practise at Canad Inns Stadium.
Winnipeg QB Buck Pierce has completed 37 of his last 47 pass attempts... Bombers LB Joe Lobendahn returns after missing one game with an ankle injury. Expect DB Deon Beasley to draw back in, replacing Arrington Hicks. KR Perry Floyd is off the 46-man roster this week... Winnipeg has started a season 5-1 four times, the last coming in 1987... Edmonton only has two wins in its last 12 trips to Winnipeg.
Reed nearly broke down when sharing his thoughts on former Bombers coach Richard Harris, who died suddenly 10 days ago: "It's extremely difficult being here right now, and not being able to get a hug from the gentle bear. I would be telling you a lie if I told you that it wasn't difficult."