Blink high on hogs

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

The Winnipeg scatback who relies on the men up front to open holes just shrugged off the latest version of Hog Hell in Blue Bombers camp.

The Bombers have lost import tackle Dan Goodspeed (knee) -- deemed the club's best lineman this season -- possibly for the year, as well as guard Matt Sheridan (groin) and possibly, backup guard Aaron Fiacconi (knee) for at least Thursday's CFL game against the Eskimos in Edmonton.

"I don't think it's going to be that tough," said Charles Roberts, who has a rough enough time running on the natural grass at Commonwealth Stadium without those worries up front. "We've got some guys who've been here since the beginning of camp. They know what they're doing. They've just been sitting waiting for their opportunity and a lot of time, when they get their first opportunity, they play hungry and aggressive. They might make a couple of mental mistakes but you know they're going to play aggressive, and that's what you need."

HELD TO 38 YARDS

Yet, Roberts was held to only 38 yards on 14 carries in the 44-16 loss to Montreal on Saturday, thanks in large part to all those injuries on the O-line.

"I was kind of nicked up, too," Roberts revealed. "I hurt my groin there a little bit so, it was a combination of a lot of different factors as to why we couldn't get the running game going. But it will be better this week."

If Fiacconi, who did not practice yesterday, can't go, sophomore O-lineman Marc Parenteau will start at right guard, with rookie Dominic Picard the backup.

"I've been waiting all year long so, I'm pretty excited," said the 6-foot-5, 304-pound Parenteau. "Last year, I might have been a little nervous because it was my first year but I started two games last year and played a lot in the pre-season, and I've been ready to go in a game.

"I get a chance to play and that's how you get seen and that's how you make a name for yourself. So, I've got to use it to the best of my advantage and go from there."

Tackle Mike Abou-Mechrek (shoulder) will also return after missing the last game.

"It's fine," the veteran assured. "It was a matter of it being something really bad or it being a little ding. I had numbness in my hand for three days. It was a pinched nerve and they were wondering whether I had a disk out that was pinching the nerve or whether it was just in the course of a game where I got my nerve pinched. The feeling just came back as of maybe Wednesday last week and it hasn't gone numb since. I got my MRI (results) and it came back good.

"We're going to be OK up front ... We're missing our best lineman, Goodspeed, but we've got to pick it up. We've got to block (Edmonton defensive end Joe) Montford; we've got to take care of his ass."

Import tackle Jermese Jones graded out well in his first action of the regular season, said Bombers head coach Doug Berry.

"We'll be somewhat OK in the O-line," he said. "The six guys we take to Edmonton will be very capable."


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