Hebert likely to make debut against Als

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:16 AM ET

Kyries Hebert is basically guaranteed to be in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers lineup Saturday night, because the team's injury list is longer than originally thought.

Defensive tackle Cam Legault (shoulder) won't play, and it's not looking good for fellow defensive tackle Ron Warner (knee).

In addition, linebacker Neil McKinlay (foot) isn't expected to play, right tackle Mike Abou-Mechrek (shoulder) is questionable, and cornerback Omar Evans (groin) might miss a second straight game.

"(The injury bug) is definitely here," said head coach Doug Berry, whose team has been remarkably healthy until now. "When it affects the Canadian talent, that's when it becomes more of an issue.

"With Cam and Neil and maybe Mike, now you got three potential guys that are tough to replace."

It's believed Bombers GM Brendan Taman was trying yesterday to re-sign defensive tackles Dante Booker and possibly Martin Lapostolle to replace Warner and Legault.

Booker and Lapostolle, who was a Bomber rookie last season, were both cut during training camp.

Despite all the non-import roster juggling that needs to take place, Berry said he plans to have Hebert on the roster for Saturday, when the Bombers (3-1) host the Montreal Alouettes (3-0) at Canad Inns Stadium in an early-season showdown for first place in the East Division.

It's expected Hebert will play primarily on special teams Saturday, but Berry said he will also work out at safety today when he participates in his first Bomber practice.

Hebert can also play linebacker, and Berry said he might be asked to play in the team's 3-4 defensive sets against the Alouettes, taking over the spot currently held by McKinlay.

"He looks like he's in shape," said Berry of Hebert. "Other than that, I can't go any farther than that until I see him do something on the field."

NOW'S HIS CHANCE: It appears Troy Westwood has finally gotten his wish.

Berry said yesterday that the Bombers placekicker will also likely be doing the team's punting against the Als.

"It may be that we're most likely going to go with Troy," said Berry. "I don't want to make that 100%, but it's the way we're leaning right now."

Westwood, who is 10-for-13 on field goals this season, has been pining for the punting job since the start of training camp, but Berry has been reluctant to give it to him, citing inconsistency as the primary reason.

The Bombers have already signed three punters this year, but none of them have panned out.

Duncan O'Mahony never showed up for training camp, Brian Claybourn was released after a poor showing in the first two games, and Sam Paulescu wasn't much better in his two contests.

PACKED HOUSE? Bombers president and CEO Lyle Bauer reported yesterday that more than 21,000 tickets have already been sold for Saturday's game, which is a little ahead of schedule than most home games.

"If you can't get excited for this game ...," said Bauer. "This one has all the storylines."


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