Injury bug already taking toll

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:06 AM ET

The season hasn't started yet, but the injury bug is already attacking the Winnipeg Blue Bombers roster.

Receivers Arjei Franklin (ankle) and Adam Eckert (hand), offensive lineman Matt O'Meara (concussion) and defensive back Davin Bush (ankle) won't play Thursday in Edmonton, while centre Obby Khan (illness) and receiver O'Neil Wilson (calf) are doubtful.

That means the Bombers will start Dominic Picard at centre and likely go with four import receivers in the five-receiver set. That foursome includes both Terrence Edwards and Chris Brazzell.

Defensive tackle Doug Brown pulled up lame at the end of yesterday's practice, but head coach Doug Berry said the all-star is expected to be fine.

Backup defensive back Greg Moss tweaked his hamstring yesterday, to what extent is not known.

Winnipeg also got good news on the injury front yesterday, as both left tackle Alex Gauthier and receiver-returner Albert Johnson III will be good to go for Thursday's opener.

RATIO GAMES: The unique Canadian game requires each CFL squad to start seven homegrown players.

The Bombers are still trying to figure out their lucky seven.

Four will start on the offensive line, while receiver Jamie Stoddard and Brown bring the total to six.

Since the Blue and Gold likely won't be able to start two Canadian receivers this week due to injuries, that means they'll either have to go with Ian Logan at safety or perhaps linebacker Neil McKinlay in certain defensive packages.

"We've got a lot of things up in the air," Berry said.

LATE HITS: Bombers GM Brendan Taman will continue to search for Canadian talent at fullback, defensive back and on the defensive line ... Pat Fleming won the punting battle against Chris Beckman, but Taman said the brass will be keeping a close eye on the kicking game ... Rookie Fred Reid will return kicks with Albert Johnson III on Thursday night. Johnson will handle the punt-return duties ... Potential Bomber owner David Asper was a spectator at yesterday's practice.


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