Doug Brown has a vivid memory of the last time he had to miss a professional football game.
He had just been released by the NFL's Redskins, then he sat in front of the TV to watch the next Washington game.
"I had my buddy, Jack, come over and he brought his friend, Daniels," the Winnipeg defensive tackle recalled yesterday.
Brown will miss his very first pro game due to injury (torn tendons in foot) when the Blue Bombers play in Hamilton tomorrow night. And he will be watching, either with or without his old friends.
"It will be a bit of a torturous process but if the guys are successful and everything goes well, it will be a lot easier," he said.
But it will snap Brown's streak of 81 consecutive games played.
"It would have been nice to continue on but I'm more disappointed in that this is a pivotal game for us and I won't be able to contribute," he said. "Obviously, we're fortunate we have some great depth and some good players who can take over."
Jon Oosterhuis will start in Brown's place with rookie Martin Lapostolle backing up, Bomber head coach Jim Daley confirmed.
"He's (Oosterhuis) definitely not going to have any jitters," said Brown, who expects to play against Saskatchewan next week. "He's started games in other years and pretty much every game I've played in he's got a lot of time and reps in. So he's fully capable of doing a seamless transition.
"He's very strong against the run and he's a very active, very fit player so, he should do very well."
Oosterhuis is enjoying his best CFL season.
"It's never the way you want it," he said. "I wish the best for Doug but it's exciting, too.
"I've become real comfortable with the system and the coaches and with the players I'm playing with."
Oosterhuis, meanwhile, knows just how dangerous a winless club like Hamilton can be.
"A team that's got nothing to lose," he said. "We're just trying to dig ourselves out of the hole that we put ourselves in earlier. This is a big game for us. We need the win and we can't take this game lightly at all because they are a very good team. They're going to win a game, it's just a matter of when and we don't want to be that first (victim)."
STOKES OUT: Daley also confirmed that receiver Darnell McDonald will replace the injured and absent Keith Stokes as both a receiver and kick returner. Receiver Gilles Colon will also return kicks.
"Gilles Colon led CIS in returns prior to coming here so it's not a new thing to him but it is a new thing to him in our league," Daley said.
Stokes has been getting treatment on his shoulder while tending to his ailing mother in Alabama. His mother has improved and Stokes is expected to resume practising here Tuesday.
NOTABLE: Winnipeg's interest in former Hamilton CB Dedric Mathis has waned in light of the play of current CBs Williams Fields and Omar Evans ... Bombers QB Kevin Glenn is ranked third in the CFL in passing efficiency with 100.1.