Sutherland gets call for injured Stegall

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:29 AM ET

The Blue Bombers are hoping the unveiling of this receiver turns out better than the last one.

Highly-touted import Vinny Sutherland will replace injured veteran slotback Milt Stegall (possible concussion) when Winnipeg plays host to the Calgary Stampeders tomorrow night, Winnipeg head coach Jim Daley confirmed after yesterday's practice.

"That's a huge loss, he's been our best player," Daley said. "We will miss Milt for his reading of defences, his tenacity as a competitor and leadership on the field."

Previously, the Bombers were high on wide receiver Scott Cloman, who dropped more balls than he caught during two games.

EXCITED

"I'm pretty excited," said Sutherland, 27. "I wish it had happened in another fashion. But I'll try to take it and try to contribute as much as I can."

The 5-foot-9, 190-pound speedster, who can also return kicks, was hampered by a hamstring pull throughout training camp.

"Being injured was frustrating," he said. "But they were loyal enough to keep me around and it's time to pay back the favour."

Canadian receiver Jamie Stoddard will start.

MUDGE REVIVED: Daley solved a problem on his offensive line by deciding to dress all three healthy tackles. That includes veteran Dave Mudge, who had been under the gun all week.

"Dave Mudge has had his best two days of practice in the time that I've been here," Daley said. "He's too good a football player not to play and we don't want to give up on Dave. When I say he's struggled or in a rut, he'd agree with that. He'd be the first to tell you that. But he's not unique to our team right now. He's not the only man in a rut."

Mudge will rotate with import tackle John Feugill while fellow import, Dan Goodspeed, will replace the injured Jermese Jones (broken hand).

"And I don't want to take a chance on going with two new guys in there," Daley said.

Feugill essentially replaces Cloman on the roster.

CARTER OUT: Recently-arrived import DB Brad Franklin will also start in place of Tim Carter while Canuck receiver Chad Rempel will replace rookie LB Scott Mennie on the roster. Carter missed yesterday's practice as he is deciding whether to accept a move back to the practice roster.

NO QUICK HOOK: Daley will remain patient with Bomber QB Tee Martin, even if the offence struggles yet again this week.

"The quarterback can't be worried that he's going to get pulled with a mistake," he said. "And he can't be worried that the coach is going to be pressured by fan and media pressure to see the next guy and the next guy. He has to have the confidence that it's his game and go play. A quarterback can't function with impatience.

"Tee hasn't played enough in three years to have his skills at the top level. He needs to play, given this opportunity due to injury (to Kevin Glenn)."

Besides, giving the starter the hook does not always spark a squad, Daley said.

"I have seen where it's been sparked by a change and I've seen it where there was no spark, it got worse," he said.


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