Jitters over Joffrey

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:24 AM ET

WINNIPEG -- Ike Charleton and the rest of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers defence know there is no way to completely stop the league's leading rusher.

So Charleton has other plans to contain Calgary Stampeders workhorse Joffrey Reynolds tonight when the Bombers host the Stamps at Canad Inns Stadium (6 p.m., TSN).

"You have to hit him. He will put the football on the ground trying to get extra yards," Charleton said.

"That's what happened last year when I hit him. He was just trying to get extra yards.

"He's proven to be a 1,300- or 1,400-yard rusher in this league, so you have to account for him ... They are spreading the ball around, so we can't key on one guy, but you definitely need to keep No. 21 in check. If he gets 100 to 150 yards rushing, then we're in for a long night. We have to keep him bottled up."

Rarely does Reynolds turn the ball over in the regular season, but the veteran has averaged five fumbles in each of his three full seasons.

But he also has an 5.8-yard average per carry during that time as well.

Only the Toronto Argonauts have allowed more rushing yardage per game than the Blue Bombers, who allowed rookie Stefan Logan of the Lions to get 143 on the ground in their last home game.

"That was the most since I've been here in three years," Charleton said.

"It won't happen again, I can promise you that.

"No one is going to rush for 150 yards against us again. We got slapped in the mouth, and we take pride in not letting that happen."

Leadership needed

With the Bombers being without middle linebacker Barrin Simpson, second-year backer Cam Hall takes over the playcalling, and the team will miss Simpson's leadership. Whether replacement Joe Lobendahn provides that remains to be seen.

"It's hard to put a value on it, but it's a huge loss," said Bombers head coach Doug Berry of missing Simpson.

EXTRA POINTS

Stampeders SB Jeremaine Copeland seems to love playing the Bombers. In 11 career games against them, Copeland has 11 touchdown receptions ... The Blue Bombers are giving OL Matt O'Meara his first career start as he takes over for Kyle Koch at right guard. That means three of the five players along the line are different from last season. This year's Stamps also have three new faces starting on the line.


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