Troy's boot is back

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:15 AM ET

Troy Westwood isn't out of the picture just yet.

In fact, he's more in the picture today than he was a week ago.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers placekicker, who was a healthy scratch last week for the first time in his 17-year CFL career, was back kicking field goals at practice yesterday.

That wasn't the case last week, when head coach Doug Berry brought in Canadian Rob Pikula and American Clinton Greathouse to try out for Westwood's job and the vacant punting position.

Westwood could only watch from the sidelines as Pikula earned the nod over Greathouse to do both the placekicking and punting in Thursday's 32-23 win over the Montreal Alouettes.

However, Westwood got to attempt field goals again when the team returned to the practice field yesterday to prepare for Friday's home game against the Edmonton Eskimos.

Not only that, but he appeared to make more of his attempts than Pikula and his kicks were travelling farther.

"But I wasn't perfect," Westwood said.

Berry said he doesn't know how the situation is going to play out, but he's not going to talk about it with the media until he makes his decision later in the week.

"I prefer not to carry two kickers, so again we'll be looking at the kicking all week long and knowing that if we have to go with two kickers it takes a special teams player off the roster," Berry said.

"We'll see how the kicking unveils as the entire week goes along, so I won't talk about it again until the end of the week."

The kicking situation, and specifically the treatment of Westwood, has caused a bit of a stir. Some believed the current longest-serving Bomber wasn't being treated fairly by having to watch during last week's practices, while others felt it was time for the left-footed kicker to hang up his spikes.

Westwood, 40, vowed last week to "fight 'til death" to hang on to his job, and he's keeping his word.

"It felt good to be out there," said Westwood, still as subdued as he was last week and not very talkative.

Pikula made a 35-yard field goal to insure Winnipeg's win over Montreal on Thursday night, but he missed a 30-yarder in the first half when he was battling his nerves.

Pikula, 25, also had a 39.5-yard average on 10 punts against the Als, although his 55-yard boot in the second quarter resulted in Greg Bearman's special teams touchdown that got the Bombers going.

Pikula, however, must be proficient in both. Otherwise, the Bombers could end up going with Pikula punting and Westwood placekicking for the forseeable future.

"If we probably decide to go with two kickers, we may do this for a while," Berry said. "It all depends on how they do. It really all depends on how Pikula does.

"If he shows he's capable to handle both chores, that could be the direction that I'd want to lean in because of the impact it has on the rest of the special teams."


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