Doubtful at first, Lezi now likely a starter

JIM BENDER

, Last Updated: 10:00 AM ET

When he failed his physical last week, Gilles Lezi wondered if he was even going to be allowed to hit the football field during the Bombers training camp.

Now he's the leading candidate to become the starting fullback, such as it is.

Lezi flunked his medical due to a mysterious kidney ailment and the Bombers needed to determine whether it was related to an old football injury before clearing him.

The fact Lezi had been hospitalized in Calgary after eating something that triggered those problems had further muddied the waters.

"It definitely feels a lot better," the 6-foot, 232-pound non-import. "It was just frustrating not to know what was going to happen. I knew that, physically, I was good to play but you never know what could have happened. When they finally gave me the good news, I was ready to go and I was happy to get on the field."

Lezi, who had been released by Calgary, signed with Winnipeg on the eve of training camp. Even if he earns the job, the Northwestern product knows he'll see only spot duty in a pass-oriented offence.

"When you've played four years in the league, you know what's expected of you, especially as a Canadian fullback -- which is to get maybe 15 reps a game and to play on special teams," said Lezi, 27. "But I've still got more things that I can show the coaches."

Lezi also knows he will be used primarily as a blocking back on pass plays and leading tailback Charles Roberts into holes.

"It's exciting to be able to contribute to a rushing champ (Roberts)," he said. "I've played against him and he's always impressed me. So for me to be able to be a part of that would be amazing."


Videos

Photos