Filling the gap

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:05 AM ET

Kelly Malveaux's wild weekend is turning into a wild week.

That's because Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Doug Berry is likely going to leave Malveaux, a natural defensive back, at linebacker for Friday's night's key rematch with the Montreal Alouettes at Canad Inns Stadium.

The Bombers (7-7) will clinch a playoff spot this weekend if they beat the Alouettes (7-6) and the Saskatchewan Roughriders down the Edmonton Eskimos on Saturday.

Malveaux was a last-minute replacement for linebacker Ike Charlton (quadriceps) in Winnipeg's 17-14 win over Montreal on Sunday, and Berry has no problem using him there again.

"Kelly is one of those guys that studies and practises knowing what everyone around him is doing," Berry said. "... Just totally understanding what our (weakside linebacker) does, Kelly was able to make that transition. Not everybody can do that.

"It's his dedication being a professional football player in the total sense of the word that enabled him to be able to go out and participate the way that he did."

Berry still has to do some lineup shuffling, though, because Malveaux's replacement at halfback on Sunday, Gabriel Fulbright, suffered a knee injury and is unlikely to play Friday.

However, cornerback Stanford Samuels, who has missed four of the last five games with an ankle injury, was back practising at full strength yesterday.

"Back to business, man," Samuels said. "It feels pretty good. The ankle's holding up."

That means Robert Bean, who had been playing for Samuels, could move inside to replace Fulbright.

FULL STEAM AHEAD: Samuels wasn't the only injured player back on the practice field yesterday.

Receivers Chris Brazzell (ankle), Kwame Cavil (ankle) and Quentin McCord (knee), offensive lineman Val St. Germain (elbow) and linebacker Ron Ockimey (groin) were going all out.

Berry said he would like to get one of either Brazzell or Cavil back in the lineup for Friday's game, but he is also tempted to leave the lineup alone, considering they have only two days of practice this week -- and one of those sessions was yesterday.

"Can we improve our roster significantly at a spot, or would we be better just to leave it alone?" the coach asked rhetorically.

Berry plans to answer his own question today after finding out how the aforementioned players feel this morning.

Offensive linemen Mike Abou-Mechrek (ankle) and Matt Sheridan (groin) did some light workouts yesterday but didn't take any reps, while Fulbright, Charlton and offensive lineman Garrick Jones (ankle) watched practice.

GREY CUP FEVER: The Grey Cup Parade will be held Saturday, Nov. 18, in downtown Winnipeg.

The festivities will begin at 4 p.m. at Portage and Langside and end with fireworks at the Forks at 6 p.m. CBC will carry the parade live across the country from 4 to 5 p.m.

Since this will also serve as the city's annual Santa Claus Parade, jolly old St. Nick will be making an appearance.


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