Blink in pink, but Smith out

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:00 AM ET

One star returned to Winnipeg Blue Bombers practice yesterday, but an up-and-comer hit the sideline and watched. Running back Charles Roberts, the reigning two-time CFL offensive player of the week, was back on the practice field yesterday. He missed Tuesday's workout because he was having medical tests done on his shoulder, but those tests revealed no damage.

Rookie wide receiver Derrick Smith, meanwhile, was forced to watch practice after cutting his hand Tuesday night. Smith was trying to pry apart frozen hamburger patties with a knife when the incident occurred.

Veteran receiver Robert Gordon, who has sat out the last two games, practised at Smith's position yesterday, but the latter is expected to be back catching balls this morning when the Bombers (6-7) conduct their final practice before facing the Alouettes (11-1) in Montreal on Saturday night.

Defensive back Ricky Bell (ribs) sat out for the second straight day, but Bombers head coach Jim Daley expects to see him back in pads this morning.

"He should be OK," Daley said. "If not, Jayson Bray will go on the roster in his spot."

If Bell can't go Saturday, Stephen Fisher would move to the starting spot, Markese Fitzgerald would replace Fisher at dime back and Bray would take over for Fitzgerald as the seventh DB.

NO PIVOTAL DECISION: QB Khari Jones (shoulder) continued to throw dozens of passes yesterday, but he felt some pain and Daley will stick with Kevin Glenn, Stanley Jackson and Tee Martin for the Montreal game.

"The initial plan would be to go with the same three this week," Daley said. "Realistically, we're still a week away (from Jones being healthy enough to dress)."

PUNTING ANY DOUBT: Daley thinks rookie P Jon Ryan, who dropped a perfectly good snap Saturday against the Argos, isn't tiring out physically or mentally.

"A rookie mistake," Daley said. "He just had a brain cramp."

Canadian college teams play between nine and 12 games a season, so the 15 that Ryan has punted in this season is by far the most for the red-haired Reginian.

"Sometimes (rookies) do hit a wall, but I don't think a punter hits a wall," Daley said.

Meanwhile, legendary Bomber punter Bob Cameron has been meeting with Ryan once a week, and Daley believes the get-togethers are having a positive effect on the young kicker.

"Bob's been really good with him," Daley said. "Bob had one as a rookie, where he dropped the ball. He was laughing about it yesterday."

LATE HITS: Joe Morgan will make his second consecutive start at safety, whether Geoff Drover (hamstring) is healthy or not ... The status of LS Chris Cvetkovic (shoulder) remains up in the air. If he can't play, newcomer Michel Dupuis will take over ... CB Markus Howell practised with a small cast on his broken hand for the first time yesterday. Daley said the receiver-turned-DB felt great with it on and is ready to play, but there's no room for him on the roster -- especially after Eric Carter's two-interception performance Saturday against Toronto.


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