It's official now, the Turtle Man will only have two games left -- at most -- to break that elusive touchdown record this season.
Winnipeg slotback Milt Stegall will miss this Sunday's game against the Tiger-Cats in Hamilton due to a knee injury.
"I think that's the safest thing to do," Blue Bombers head coach Doug Berry said yesterday. "He's come along really, really well. He did some cutting on it (yesterday) and even afterward he did some work, it still felt good and comfortable. I expect him for the Calgary game."
Winnipeg plays host to the Stampeders on Oct. 21.
Stegall is three TDs shy of setting the career record (now 137) and, should he retire this winter, the final two outings may be his last chance to do it. Stegall has been reluctant to talk about either the record or retirement -- and there were no submissions to the Bomber fan site concerning his future.
ABOU BACK: Offensive lineman Mike Abou-Mechrek will, however, return from a high-ankle sprain this Sunday.
"The ankle's fine, no problems, ready to go," he said. "There's no more testing that can be done. The test will be in the game. If it's just pain, pain can be taken care of.
"It's good to be back down at guard, too. I can bring some more of my tools to the table. I'm an adequate tackle, but I'm a guard."
Although OL Matt Sheridan (groin) practised, he remains doubtful to play Sunday.
NO MAAS: Word out of Hamilton is that Kevin Eakin will start at QB against Winnipeg with Jason Maas dropping to No. 3 as the Ticats start preparing for next season.
The 'Cats have already been eliminated from postseason action and Berry said he would do the same thing in their shoes, especially when Maas will likely have to adapt to a different offence under a new coach next season anyway.
"You can always expect the unexpected," Berry said. "They really have nothing to lose ... But I presume they will set themselves up in schemes where you can evaluate the personnel."
SIMPSON MISSING: The Bombers got a scare when MLB Barrin Simpson could not practise yesterday. Simpson, who suffered a concussion during the last game against Montreal, said he had a "whiplash headache" but planned to practise today.
Neil McKinlay practised at MLB in Simpson's absence.
CUP TICKETS: Grey Cup organizers have sold a total of 37,512 tickets to the Nov. 19 game, almost 8,000 below capacity of about 45,000. They have made an additional 500 prime-team seats available in either the east- or west-side grandstands. For more info, contact Ticketmaster.
SPIES WERE US: An Armed Forces crew was filming yesterday's practice and was planning to send the tape to Afghanistan to show troops how similar it is to practising manoeuvres.