Charlton has bruised ribs, may not play

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:18 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers could be missing a key defensive cog against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Friday night.

Outside linebacker Ike Charlton, who is second on the team with 26 tackles, is questionable for Friday's game with bruised ribs.

Charlton suffered the injury late in Thursday's 25-22 win over the Edmonton Eskimos, but not before registering six tackles.

NEW BLUE: Offensive lineman Belton Johnson will celebrate his 26th birthday today by officially joining the Bombers.

The import tackle attended B.C. Lions training camp in the spring but didn't make the squad.

Johnson, a graduate of the University of Mississippi, spent 2003 and 2004 with the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals but didn't see any action.

The 6-foot-6, 310-pound Mississippi native and non-import guard Carl Gourgues have been signed to provide depth on an O-line that has lost Dan Goodspeed (knee) for the season and Matt Sheridan (groin) for a month.

SPECIAL PERFORMANCE: Bombers head coach Doug Berry was singing the praises of his special teams yesterday for their play in Thursday's win over the Eskimos.

"The punt game was unbelievable," Berry said. "Troy (Westwood) averaged 49 yards in punting, we averaged double digits in punt returns, (and) we had no penalties on our punt returns.

"... As well as we played on offence and defence, I'm not sure if we don't play that almost perfect game in the special teams that we ... well, that's the reason the game was as tight as it was."

Against the Esks, Albert Johnson III averaged 10.5 yards on punt returns and 18 yards on kickoff returns.

DON'T FORGET ABOUT KEVIN: While Bombers SB Milt Stegall has been getting all the attention for his 100-yard touchdown catch and run Thursday night, Berry pointed out that QB Kevin Glenn deserves some praise as well.

"He threaded that pass as perfectly as you could throw it to Milt in stride, right in stride," Berry said.

Glenn completed 20 of 35 passes for 374 yards and the TD to Stegall, but he also had an interception.

TOOTHLESS TABBIES? Berry said his team has plenty of reasons to be concerned about the Tiger-Cats on Friday night, even though Hamilton is 1-5.

"They've only had a rough start in the won and loss column," Berry said.

The Ticats went toe to toe with the Montreal Alouettes on Thursday night but lost 41-38 on a last-second field goal.

"They've done a nice job," Berry said. "They're a good football team."

BY THE NUMBERS: Despite having different starters at four of the five offensive line positions compared to the week before, the Bombers allowed only one sack Thursday ... Bomber RB Charles Roberts has just 71 rushing yards on 24 carries in his last two games.


Videos

Photos