Lots on line in Ticats tilt

TERRY KOSHAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:37 AM ET

Hard to envision another time when Zeke Moreno used the word "precious" to describe a football game.

Of course, Moreno's appearance Friday night in Hamilton for a CFL match involving the Tiger-Cats won't be like any other. Moreno will line up on the other side of the ball for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, after a westward trade from Steeltown a week ago.

"The wound is still fresh, which makes this game that much more precious," Moreno said over the phone from Winnipeg yesterday. "It just goes to show that a lot of crazy stuff can happen and that there is no job security."

There's plenty more on the line than the return of Moreno, a 6-foot-2, 246-pound linebacker who was a CFL all-star as a rookie in 2007. It's the annual Canadian Football Hall of Fame game, with 2008 inductees Michael (Pinball) Clemons, Doug Flutie, Mike Pringle, John Bonk and Tom Shepherd rubbing shoulders prior to kickoff. Their Hall of Fame busts will be unveiled at halftime.

PLAYOFF PICTURE

And then there's the little matter of the East Division playoff picture. If the 3-8 Bombers win, and the Argonauts lose 24 hours later in Calgary, both teams will have the same record. The Ticats, meanwhile, can stay in the picture if they improve to 3-9.

There's a good chance Hamilton will not have running back Jesse Lumsden, who suffered a shoulder injury in Edmonton last week. Lumsden did not practise yesterday and will be re-evaluated today.

It's another chapter in the trial by fire for Ticats coach Marcel Bellefeuille, who took over last Monday when Charlie Taaffe was canned.

"There's no question it's crucial for us," he said.

Bellefeuille was not overly concerned with the possibility that Lumsden, arguably the league's most effective back when he is healthy, will not play. Lumsden has missed three other games this season with injuries, and also had his 2007 campaign cut short by a shoulder problem. The Ticats have Terry Caulley and Tre Smith to fall back if Lumsden is forced to the sidelines.


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