Bombers likely to face promising backup

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:23 AM ET

Richie Williams is one laid-back 'Cat.

That just may serve him well tonight when he makes his first CFL start for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Casey Printers, who was signed to much fanfare earlier this month, is nursing a sore hamstring, so Ticats head coach Charlie Taaffe said it will likely be Williams tonight.

"We're going to wait until right before game time," Taaffe said. "If things don't change, Richie will most likely start. He's taken most of the reps at practice this week.

"... In all sincerity, I would say that Richie will probably end up starting the game."

Williams took over for Printers late in the first half of last week's game against the Calgary Stampeders, and he guided his team to a 24-20, come-from-behind win.

The former Appalachian State star said the uncertainty makes no difference to him.

"It's just like coming off the bench," Williams said. "You don't know when you're going to come off the bench and play, so it's the same thing."

Williams, a second-year member of the 'Cats, has completed 31 of 41 attempts for 362 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in five relief appearances.

Bombers head coach Doug Berry said his team better beware of Williams.

"I know that when Richie Williams has been there they have been effective, so they will be comfortable playing with him," Berry said.

FLUKE HIT?: Hamilton linebacker Zeke Moreno was accused of a late hit on Calgary quarterback Henry Burris that resulted in a dislocated shoulder last week. But Moreno insists he was actually trying to avoid the hit.

"It was an unfortunate thing. I never go out and try to injure players," Moreno said. "I just give it 100%, and in doing so I kind of laid down when I saw him on the ground.

"I tried to bear down and I hit my knees with my arms out, but just my momentum pushed me into him. It was just one of those fluke deals. I feel bad for the guy, but it wasn't intentional."

REJUVENATED: Moreno, leads the CFL with 85 defensive tackles in his first year.

"It feels good just to be out here playing again," said the ex-NFLer, who sat out a year due to injuries. "Just being back with these guys brings back a lot of memories, and playing in this league just reminds me of why you play this game.

"You do it because you love it. It's not about the money. It reminds you of your Pop Warner days, just hanging around going out with the fellas afterwards, eating dinner and just playing ball. There's a lot of jokes and that going on in the locker-room, and that's what it's all about.

"I'm bouncing back and just thankful for the chance that Hamilton gave me, and I'm trying to take advantage of it."

LATE HITS: Hamilton's leading receiver, Brock Ralph, will miss his second straight game with a shoulder injury ... Bombers slotback Milt Stegall (shoulder) and cornerback Juran Bolden (personal) return to the lineup tonight ... As of 5 p.m. yesterday, the Bombers had sold more than 26,000 tickets for tonight's game, putting its streak of five consecutive sellouts in peril.


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