Blue's comfortable Corey

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:05 AM ET

The CFL rookie who drew rave reviews in training camp didn't disappoint in his first regular-season contest.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers linebacker Corey Jenkins overcame a sluggish start on Thursday night in Edmonton and finished with five tackles and a forced fumble in the 39-39 tie against the Eskimos.

"Early on I thought he was maybe overreacting, but as the game developed a flow I thought he settled in and looked much more comfortable out there," head coach Doug Berry said.

"... Sometimes he was there and didn't make the play. Things balanced out, though, and he became a lot more consistent in the second half."

The 30-year-old rookie, who was a first-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in 1995, spent most of the night at weak-side linebacker, with Kyries Hebert back at safety.

Hebert picked up an interception and added four tackles of his own.

"I told you I came out of the womb playing safety, so it wasn't anything new to me," said Hebert, who spent most of training camp at weak-side linebacker. "I was excited to be back there, though. It worked out really good."

What didn't work out was the Bombers' overall defensive performance, as they allowed 505 yards of net offence.

"There are some things we need to clean up," Hebert said. "It was our first week playing together as a unit with me being at safety, some other guys being at different positions, so I think it will all be downhill from here."

ON THE MEND: Defensive back Davin Bush has recovered from an ankle injury and will be back at practice this afternoon, while receiver O'Neil Wilson (calf) and offensive linemen Val St. Germain (back) and Matt O'Meara (concussion) will see limited action today.

Receivers Arjei Franklin (ankle) and Adam Eckert (finger), centre Obby Khan (illness) and defensive back Greg Moss (hamstring), who all missed the season opener, won't practise.

Backup defensive back Gabriel Fulbright suffered a bad case of turf toe in Edmonton and is doubtful for Thursday's home opener against Montreal.

That could pave the way for Chijioke Onyenegecha to make his CFL debut.

LATE HITS: If the Calgary Stampeders beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats late last night, the Bombers will lead the East Division all by themselves with one point ... The last time the Bombers played to a tie was on Aug. 10, 2000, a 41-41 draw with the host Toronto Argonauts ... The Bombers return to the practice field at 1:15 p.m. today.


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