Roster depends on Canadian DBs

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:08 AM ET

When Markus Howell was first thrown out as a cornerback, there were those who thought that the Winnipeg Blue Bomber coaches had lost their minds. But now that the converted Canadian receiver has proven himself as a pass defender, each week, it seems, the roster makeup depends on his availability.

Howell missed the last match with a broken bone in his hand, allowing veteran import Eric Carter to finally return from injury and play that corner spot.

The Bombers are waiting to see how Howell practises this week before deciding on who will play where against Toronto on Saturday.

"If he was able to return to the roster, then you free up an American spot elsewhere," Bomber head coach Jim Daley said yesterday.

"Eric played well, got beat on one deep pass on the hitch-and-go. Otherwise, he was good. He made good tackles, he's physical and after a seven-week absence, he came in and made a pretty good contribution.

"Whether Markus can go in or not, we won't know until we see him on the field trying to tackle and wrap up things."

Also up in the air is the status of Canadian safety Geoff Drover (hamstring), who did not practise yesterday.

If he cannot play, then Joe Morgan, a non-import, would start, with Canadian defensive back Boyd Barrett being groomed as a backup.

TWO STARS: Bomber tailback Charles Roberts was named CFL Player of the Week with rookie defensive end Tom Canada getting the nod as lineman of the week. And linebacker Lamar McGriggs was the runner-up to Edmonton's A.J. Gass as top defensive player. Roberts rushed for 159 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries, caught a 10-yard TD toss and added 28 yards on three punt returns during Winnipeg's 27-24 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Canada recorded six tackles.

"Charlie had a phenomenal effort," Daley said.

"He kept pounding and pounding and pounding, all 150 pounds of him, and he was well-deserving of that award. Tom Canada had a great game and has had a great year for us as defensive end. We had continual heat on (Saskatchewan quarterback Henry Burris), even though we only had the two sacks. Henry took some hits and took some pressures. Then Lamar McGriggs had his best game of the year."

HASHMARKS: QB Khari Jones threw the ball with a lot of zip during yesterday's workout ... Bomber GM Brendan Taman has yet to get back to the agent representing wrestler-turned-football player Brock Lesnar.


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