Blue Bombers linebacker Joe Lobendahn will not suit up in the middle of the defence when the club hosts the B.C. Lions at Canad Inns Stadium Thursday (7 p.m., CJOB).

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Blue Bombers linebacker Joe Lobendahn will not suit up in the middle of the defence when the club hosts the B.C. Lions at Canad Inns Stadium Thursday (7 p.m., CJOB).

His ankle, injured in last Saturday's game in Toronto, is not coming along as quickly as the club hoped, so the coaches have decided to give him the week off rather than cause more damage to the veteran starter.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Linebacker Marcellus Bowman takes part in a drill during Bomber practice Tuesday at Canad Inns Stadium.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Linebacker Marcellus Bowman takes part in a drill during Bomber practice Tuesday at Canad Inns Stadium.

Taking his place will be second-year LB Marcellus Bowman, who slides over from his weak-side spot into the middle. Merrill Johnson gets the start in his vacated spot, and Clint Kent remains as the strong-side linebacker.

Sounds like a plan. But...

"I have never played middle linebacker in my life," Bowman told reporters after practice Tuesday. "I've never made a play call or anything like that, so it's going to be a new experience."

Bowman said his short week of preparation has left his head spinning. Extra work in practice, extra time in the film study and a constant thought about the responsibilities of the position all the time -- this is his life right now.

Bowman says his adjustment to the role will be a team effort.

"I have a lot of things on my mind, I want to make sure that we all understand that -- we all have to pick up the slack (in Lobendahn's absence)."

NO FINE: Lobendahn will not be fined for his hit on Toronto Argos QB Cleo Lemon, the league confirmed Tuesday. Lobendahn cracked helmets with Lemon as the pivot ran with the ball, but the league ruled it as incidental. The Toronto QB had his helmet knocked off on the play and had to leave the game. Here's the CFL statement on why Lobendahn won't have to get out the chequebook: "We've looked at every angle available to us and there is no conclusive evidence that shows Lobendahn delivered a blow with his helmet to his opponent's helmet. There may have been some incidental contact, but there is no evidence that clearly shows that the primary point of contact was his opponent's helmet."

NO BAD BLOOD: Bombers QB Buck Pierce, who will face his old team for the first time since coming to Winnipeg, was asked if he had any ill will towards the Leos or head coach/GM Wally Buono heading into the contest.

Remember, Buono released Pierce before the 2010 season as a lofty contract and countless injuries to the quarterback made for a bad combination.

"I understand the business -- a lot of people don't. It's a business and you have to perform at the time," Pierce said. "When you physically can't do it, at the quarterback job, they have to move forward. There's no love lost between me and that organization at all. I have the utmost respect for that coaching staff and for Wally Buono as a person."

WEEKLY AWARDS: Two Bombers -- Pierce and WR Cory Watson -- picked up Gibsons Finest CFL player of the week awards for their efforts in the 33-24 victory over the Toronto Argonauts at Rogers Centre Saturday.

Pierce was named the top offensive player for his 22 completions in 27 attempts for 361 yards and three touchdowns against the Argos, leading the Bombers back from a 17-6 deficit at halftime.

Second-year wideout Watson, who hasn't practised this week due to a leg injury, was named the top Canadian player for his seven-catch, 75-yard performance. Head coach Paul LaPolice said Watson is expected to play against the Lions.

Two Edmonton Eskimos players captured the other awards: DE Greg Peach (defensive) and K Damon Duval (special teams).

adam.wazny@freepress.mb.ca