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JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 10:05 AM ET

Perhaps it is time for CFL coaches to re-visit how they employ that extra Canadian on the roster this year.

Most teams use that extra man on the special teams that are so important these days.

But maybe the Blue Bombers, at least, should start dressing an extra offensive lineman.

Injuries devastated the Bomber offensive trenches in last night's game against the Montreal Alouettes at Canad Inns Stadium. Winnipeg actually finished the game with only two offensive linemen that had started the previous game -- centre Obby Khan and Val St. Germain.

First, import tackle Jermese Jones started his first game of the season because non-import tackle Mike Abou-Mechrek was hurt (knee). Then the Bombers lost import Dan Goodspeed -- arguably Winnipeg's best hog this year -- due to a knee injury. That meant backup offensive lineman Aaron Fiacconi went in at guard with guard Matt Sheridan sliding over to tackle. But that didn't last long. Sheridan suffered a groin pull in the second quarter and had to be helped off the field.

That meant Jon Oosterhuis, a backup Canadian defensive lineman, was pressed into duty at guard with St. Germain sliding out to tackle. If that wasn't enough, the Bombers lost Fiacconi (knee) midway through the fourth quarter and was replaced by backup Canadian defensive lineman Martin Lapostolle.

"It was pretty crazy," Jones said. "I've never seen three offensive linemen go out of game before. But it's part of the game."

But it plays havoc with the offensive gameplan.

"It was frustrating losing linemen at halftime when you're losing a game 16-15," said Bomber head coach Doug Berry. "You just can't do the things that you're normally doing, the things you ask your interior guards to do if someone from defence is playing. So we're very limited in what we could do and we just couldn't run the things that we need to run."

Oosterhuis, who has at least taken some reps on offence in practice, tried gamely.

"There's a lot of things I need to work on obviously, because I don't have the techniques down but I made it through," he said. "I've got new respect for the O-line. It's tough because, on defence, you've got a gap to go to and on the O-line, you've got to read where they're going and move off with a little more reaction.

"You never think the game would end that way but it's always a possibility with a small roster."


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