Got Milt? Not sure

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

Milt Stegall is travelling to Toronto tomorrow.

The decision on whether or not he will play against the Argonauts this weekend won't be made until 2 p.m. on Sunday, an hour before kickoff.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers slotback, who leads the CFL in receiving yards, didn't practise again yesterday for the second straight day in order to rest his bruised shoulder.

Stegall originally suffered the injury Sept. 2 in Regina during the Labour Day Classic. He could barely lift his wounded wing after last Saturday's game in Hamilton, but he reported yesterday that the situation is improving daily.

"It's getting better," Stegall said. "After that game it was difficult (to lift). I took some solid hits in that game, so it was difficult then. But every day it's improving."

Head coach Doug Berry said the decision to play will be Stegall's and Stegall's alone. But if he had a say in the matter?

"I'm leaning towards not playing him," Berry said. "He's going to have to say 'I'm really 100% ready to go, the soreness is gone.' As much as we'd like to have him on the field, Chris Brazzell brings a lot to the game. If that's the case, that's fine.

"I don't want to risk Milt again. I want him to feel real solid about his body again."

Stegall is in agreement with his head coach. This is, after all, his final kick at the Grey Cup cat, and his health in the post-season will be a priority. Not only that, but the Bombers are 7-3-1, they lead the East Division by three points, and one game does not a season make.

"We're not going to take a chance," Stegall said. "If it's not ready, we're not going. But they basically said, 'If you're ready to go, tell us.' And my body's going to let me know if it's ready to go or not."

Brazzell, who hasn't played since Aug. 3 but will travel to Toronto as Stegall's insurance policy, wasn't doing interviews yesterday. All he said was, "The old man's not gonna let me play."

The old man, of course, is Stegall.

NEW-LOOK DOUBLE BLUE? The Argos have earned the reputation for allowing many rushing yards but few touchdowns, a bend-but-don't-break mentality.

That appears to be changing. After surrendering an average of 135, 127 and 139 rushing yards per game over the last three seasons, the Boatmen have clamped down this year.

They are giving up a paltry 111 rushing yards per game, which Berry said will affect how the Bombers deploy tailback Charles Roberts on Sunday.

"They certainly want to be able to get the ball back to their offence more," Berry said. "They're doing different things in order to show that they're willing not to just sit on the field and do the bend, not break concept.

"I don't anticipate Charles is going to carry the ball 30-some times this game."

LATE HITS: CB Juran Bolden's wife has given birth to a baby boy in Florida. It's expected Bolden, who has been with his wife all week, will join the Bombers tomorrow in Toronto ... CB Greg Moss (hamstring), DB Davin Bush (hamstring) and S Greg Bearman (ribs) all watched practice again yesterday. Only Bearman is likely to play Sunday.


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