Put your money on Bombers: Stokes

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

They are favoured by how much?

Try 20 points. Yup, Winnipeg's season of rebuilding has come to this. Edmonton is favoured to beat the Blue Bombers by 20 points by at least one betting line when Winnipeg plays there tomorrow night.

But that did not irk Bomber kick returner Keith Stokes.

"Their job is to go out there and make the underdogs and, if I'm in Vegas right now, I'm betting on us," he said yesterday. "If you're down on your money, bet on us."

CFL DEBUT: Rookie defensive lineman Martin Lapostolle will make his CFL debut in Edmonton.

"I'm just totally excited," said the 2005 draft pick. "I can't believe it. I've been waiting since the beginning of the season to get my chance and finally, it happened so, I'm really, really excited.

"It wasn't frustrating. I understand that I'm young, I'm a rookie and have to wait for my chance."

Lapostolle had been given some turns at guard just in case he is needed as an emergency fill-in as centre/guard Corey Annett will be a healthy scratch.

Lapostolle was pressed into service when Winnipeg lost import defensive end Antwone Young to a minor knee injury. That allows import slotback Milt Stegall to return and import wide receiver Vinny Sutherland to stay on the roster.

"It's great to have (Stegall) back," said Bomber head coach Jim Daley. "We're a different team when we have people of his calibre and talent back on the roster."

Rookie Canadian linebacker Scott Mennie also returns, replacing injured defensive back Boyd Barrett (minor neck injury).

HEAT WAVE: Clouds of mosquito spray filled the air both before and during yesterday's practice on the grass. And players were still swatting the pests, even with swarms of dragonflies hovering overhead. If that was not enough, they have practised in the intense heat the past two days.

"It is definitely a gruelling two days," Daley said. "The heat has been as high as I've ever had it here. Some of those offensive linemen have probably lost 8-10 pounds in a practice. That's quite normal and they've got to get re-hydrated pretty quickly. But the benefit of is when we go to play (tomorrow) night in Edmonton, we'll be in much better shape than not having gone through this heat. It's been a challenge but the effort, length and quality of practice has been unaffected."

HASHMARKS: Saskatchewan picked up ex-Bomber WR Derrick Smith ... Edmonton RB Mike Bradley (knee) is not expected to play tomorrow ... Daley points out that he called new C Aaron Fiacconi "arguably the strongest man" on the Alouettes, not "the toughest," as appeared here earlier this week. It may be a moot point except the Als come to town next week.


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