Brown hopeful, but still hobbling

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:39 AM ET

Doug Brown is raring and ready to go.

If only his darn foot would co-operate.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive tackle practised with the first-team defence for the second straight day, but the torn tendons in his left foot, which have shelved him for the last three games, appear to be bothering him still.

Head coach Jim Daley said early yesterday afternoon that he was hopeful Brown would be in the lineup Friday night in Ottawa when the Bombers (3-9) battle the Renegades (5-6).

However, Brown was limping during practice late yesterday afternoon and gave the "so-so" signal with his hand when asked afterwards how it felt.

RENEGADES WATCH: The B.C. Lions hammered Ottawa 61-27 last Friday night, but Daley said his team can't take QB Kerry Joseph and the rest of the Renegades offence lightly.

"They almost matched B.C. in offensive production, and they surpassed B.C. in first downs," he said. "The loss did not occur because of Ottawa's offence necessarily. They did have six turnovers, though."

Daley is confident that the Bomber defence is back on solid footing after a strong performance in the team's 19-17 loss to Saskatchewan.

"They'll make another great improvement this week," Daley vowed.

BYE-BYE BREAK: The Bombers get their first bye in Week 15 after Toronto, Hamilton and Montreal will have had two and every other team will have had one.

Winnipeg gets another bye in the final week of the season.

"The location of our bye week ... is very, very unfortunate for us, and there's nothing we can do about it, so I haven't worried about it," Daley said.

In the drafts of the 2005 schedule, Winnipeg's first bye week was earlier in the season. However, when the final version came out in February, it wasn't until Week 15.

"It's not good to have two bye weeks in the last month, therefore having a 14-game stretch without a break," Daley said. "It's not good."

Daley said it's a catch-22. He can't give his players extra time off because the games are too tight together, which means they're drained well before their bye week arrives.

LATE HITS: S Shawn Gallant (viral infection) and DB Justin Coleman (ribs, foot) don't look like they'll be playing this week, but CB Omar Evans (neck) should return. That means Brad Franklin will return to his halfback spot, pushing Syniker Taylor to dime back and Santino Hall to the seventh DB spot ... WR Chris Brazzell missed his second straight practice yesterday due to a personal matter, but he's expected to be back today.


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