Stokes status depends on ankle

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:21 AM ET

Will he or won't he? That's the big question this morning surrounding the playing status of Winnipeg Blue Bombers offensive threat Keith Stokes, who practised yesterday for the first time since spraining an ankle on Sunday against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

'LOOKING A LITTLE BETTER'

The Bombers (5-7) will go after their third straight win tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Canad Inns Stadium against the Toronto Argonauts (6-4-1). Bombers head coach Jim Daley said whether or not the running back/receiver/returner will play tomorrow rests upon how his ankle feels when he wakes up this morning.

"It's certainly looking a little better," Daley said. "He'll see how it tightens up overnight -- or doesn't -- and then we'll make that decision."

If Stokes doesn't play, newcomer Hugh Smith will take his roster spot to return kicks and punts.

Stokes took part in 10 offensive plays yesterday and said he didn't feel any pain.

"They just told me to go out there today and see how it feels," said Stokes, who had five catches for 100 yards against the Roughriders. "So I went out there and ran a little bit. They want to see how it feels after I ran on it and see if there's any soreness or anything. I'm still waiting. Right now it's fine.

"I think I can play, but I don't make them decisions."

The decision will be based largely upon whether or not Stokes and the medical staff feel he can play the entire game.

"We don't want to be in a situation where it's a higher probability than normal (of getting hurt again) when we have healthy people around to play," Daley said. "Keith would need to be confident that he's in real good shape for us to put him on the roster this week."

BAD MOON MEETING: Former NFL receiver Andre (Bad Moon) Rison made headlines last month when he joined the Argos and proclaimed: "I'm the best receiver to ever play the game."

To which Bombers CB Eric Carter, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, responded yesterday: "And I'm the best DB of all time, so it's the best DB going against the best receiver of all time, so it's going to be a nice little matchup. I'm looking forward to it."

LATE HITS: FB Cory Olynick, who's been out since July 16 with a broken thumb, will replace S Geoff Drover (hamstring) on the Winnipeg roster for tomorrow's game ... CB Markus Howell (hand), QB Khari Jones (shoulder) and WR Robert Gordon (ankle) will remain on the injured list ... The Argos last home game was their 14-6 win over the Bombers on Aug. 17, and tomorrow's match will be the third of a four-game "road trip." The Boatmen don't play at SkyDome again until Sept. 29 ... The Argos haven't swept the season series against the Bombers since 1997 ... Bombers GM Brendan Taman still hasn't heard back from DL Brock Lesnar's agent, but he expects to talk to him today. Taman believes Lesnar will wait for an NFL practice roster spot.


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