Bring on the Bombers

BOB MACKIN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:12 AM ET

The Canadian Football League's division leaders meet tonight at B.C. Place Stadium (7:30 p.m.). There is no talk whatsoever of it being a potential Grey Cup preview for the simple fact that both teams remain stuck in early season form.

The B.C. Lions finished the first third of the 18-game campaign 5-1 atop the West division with just 932 passing yards. That's just over 155 per game average. The 3-2-1 Winnipeg Blue Bombers could be just the thing for the Lions to get going. They've allowed 1,770 yards - the worst defence in the league for that statistical category.

On the other side of the ball, quarterback Kevin Glenn has thrown 1,852 yards and completed 145 of 207 passes. That's the best in the league, mainly because of injuries to B.C.'s Dave Dickenson and Buck Pierce. Glenn's preferred target is Milt Stegall, the CFL's all-time touchdown king with 140 and counting. He has 30 catches for 497 yards. Four of his receptions were for majors. B.C. running back Joe Smith is the only Lion in the top 18. He has five on the ground and one in the air, putting him three behind Winnipeg's other threat, running back Charles Roberts.

Roberts has eight touchdowns after travelling 509 yards on 99 carries. He's sandwiched between Hamilton Tiger-Cats' Jesse Lumsden and B.C.'s Smith in the rush parade.

Put Glenn, Stegall and Roberts on the field and the equation could be puzzling for the Lions' ailing linebackers and defensive backs.

Otis Floyd is likely to return after an abdominal strain. Jamall Johnson, who broke his left arm last week, is unlikely. Dante Marsh and Sebastian Clovis (knee) are definitely out, but Korey Banks (ankle) is expected to play a backup role, at least.

"The football people are out of it, as much as you like to think we have a bigger say, we don't and we shouldn't," said head coach and general manager Wally Buono on dealing with a depleted roster. "This is not our realm, our realm is to evaluate [them] on the field."

Meanwhile, Buck Pierce, who has been hampered by rib, hand and toe injuries, gets the nod to start at quarterback tonight after Jarious Jackson's disappointing performance in last week's loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.


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