Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/8/2009 (4291 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
RYAN Donnelly will be blocking Alouettes on Saturday night while somewhere in Winnipeg it's likely Kelly Bates will be packing boxes.
Donnelly will start at right guard for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Saturday against the Montreal Alouettes, and Bates, who did not practice on Thursday has been told he will not play Saturday and will either be released or placed on the nine-game injured list in the coming days.
The Saskatchewan native issued a 'no comment, for now,' to the media as he left Canad Inns Stadium early Thursday afternoon.
Donnelly played in 15 games with the Bombers last season and started in 10. He's an eight-year veteran from St. Catharines, Ont., who played his university ball at McMaster.
"This is a performance-based profession and we thought Ryan Donnelly gave us more," said coach Mike Kelly. "We appreciate his time here and he worked at it, but there comes a time. This wasn't knee-jerk, and our evaluations tell us Ryan deserves a shot there."
The Bombers have allowed the fewest sacks in the league and running back Fred Reid is the CFL's top rusher, all behind a line that featured Bates.
"We feel we can be better," said Kelly. "Ryan has done everything we've asked of him and when he has been given playing time, he's graded out very well."
The club will dress six offensive lineman for Saturday's game against the Als with Luke Fritz being the lone extra. Winnipegger Lorne Plante will not dress but is getting closer to seeing game action, according to Kelly.
"Lorne has a bit to go. He's got all the physical tools, it's just a matter of continuing to learn and understand what it is to play at this level," said Kelly. "It's a bit of the old-bull-young-bull scenario. We've got some guys behind Kelly (Bates) that have been improving at a rapid pace and they're deserving of playing time."
When asked if he expected to see Bates in another uniform in the near future, Kelly demurred.
"I'd guess it depends on what other teams need," said the coach. "We know what we have and we know who these guys are. We wouldn't have done it if we weren't comfortable with the move."
LB Siddeeq Shabazz will not be ready to go and will miss his second straight game. Expect LB Pierre-Luc Labbe to return to the lineup, with CB James Johnson replaced by CB Brandon Stewart. Jovon Johnson and Yvenson Bernard will likely handle kick returns.
The Bombers launched the Milt Stegall Legacy DVD ($24.85 at the Bomber Store) with the legend there to watch it for the first time. "It's pretty amazing," he said. "The fact that I'm still alive and they're doing this makes it even more amazing."
Hall of Famer Ken Ploen has been chosen by CFL fans as the West nominee for the Most Outstanding Player of the 1960s as part of the league's 'Retro' theme. Ottawa Rough Riders star Russ Jackson is the East nominee. Fans can vote at CFL.ca until Sept 8.