Walls out with broken bone in hand

KIRK PENTON and JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:38 AM ET

Winnipeg was forced to make a major last-minute scratch yesterday.

Import defensive end Gavin Walls will not play against the B.C. LIons in a key CFL contest tonight due to a hand injury, Blue Bombers head coach Doug Berry said.

In fact, Walls could be out as long as a month with a broken bone in his hand.

"We casted him up, and he just feels like he's not going to be close enough to 100%, so we're better off not playing him this week," Berry said.

Stevie Baggs will replace Walls.

"I just want to play," said the overjoyed Baggs, 25. "I don't want to talk about it, I just want to play."

The 6-foot-1, 241-pound Bethune-Cookman College product dressed for five games with Winnipeg last year but was plucked off the practice roster by Edmonton after this year's training camp.

Baggs dressed for seven games with the Eskimos before getting released and rejoining the Bomber practice roster.

WESTY'S WOES: Calling the situation "exceptionally" disappointing, benched placekicker Troy Westwood is doing everything he can to keep his chin up.

"I'm trying not to be emotional and just rolling with the punches," said Westwood, who will be replaced tonight by Rob Pikula. "And I'll continue to try and get better every day."

NEW RESPONSIBILITY: The last time Cam Hall played the Lions, he was the strong-side linebacker. But after Ike Charlton returned, Hall jumped to the weak side where he will be keeping an eye on B.C. running back Joe Smith.

"Being at the other side now, it's a little bit more run-oriented," he said. "So obviously, there's going to be a little more emphasis on me making sure where I'm supposed to be ... "

LATE HIT: Bombers defensive end Tom Canada yesterday was named the CFL's defensive player of the month for September. Canada had five sacks and seven tackles in four games.


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