Injuries continue to plague Blue's D

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:46 PM ET

The Winnipeg defence was missing four starters, and good ones, too.

Those players unable to answer the bell due to injury were defensive lineman Doug Brown (eye), linebacker Ike Charlton (shoulder), cornerback Juran Bolden (back) and defensive back Davin Bush (ankle).

Then it lost defensive end Tom Canada (shoulder) in the first half.

The result? The Blue Bombers defensive dozen essentially surrendered a grand total of two points over 60 minutes in a CFL game against the Argonauts in Toronto on Saturday. Toronto won 16-8 but 14 of those points came as the result of turnovers on special teams.

"It's a hard game to lose when you give up a total of 21 yards for their two touchdowns," conceded Bombers head coach Doug Berry. "I thought we'd be able to perform better offensively so I was a little disappointed in that and the turnovers on the special teams ended up being the difference in the game, really."

The defence had a ready-made excuse for not performing up to its usual standard with all those changes but it more than held its own. Heck, Toronto quarterback Michael Bishop was held to 10 completions on 29 attempts for a meagre 145 yards and one 17-yard touchdown.

"We wanted to come in knowing our assignments, play hard, play physical and I think we did that (Saturday) as a defence," said defensive back Anthony Malbrough, who replaced Bush.

Defensive end Gavin Walls even cranked it up a notch after Canada was lost.

"That's what it's all about," said Walls, who had had a defensive tackle, a quarterback sack, two pass knockdowns and a number of pressures. "Somebody drops and somebody else has to pick up the intensity, pick up the play and that's what I was able to do. Aside from what I did, it doesn't matter. We took the loss and it's tough, man."

Marcus Winn replaced Cam Hall at weak-side linebacker while Hall took over at strong-side for Charlton.

"I think I did pretty good but obviously we didn't win the game," said Winn, who had three defensive tackles, a forced fumble, a pass knockdown and laid a lick on Argo running back John Avery. "So, it was just a tough loss and now, it's just a matter of re-grouping and getting back on the winning side."

HURTING: Canada remains questionable for Friday's game after receiving treatment to his bruised shoulder yesterday, said Bombers GM Brendan Taman. Charlton is a good bet to return this week while Brown may be allowed to practice. Receiver Arjei Franklin (shoulder) will be back.

The status of RB Charles Roberts (thigh) is still up in the air while both Bolden and Bush remain doubtful. Both DB Ian Logan (groin) and DL Brian Guebert (hamstring) will sit again.

HASHMARKS: With P Pat Fleming struggling, there was some speculation during Saturday's game, that PK Troy Westwood would be pressed into duty as Fleming's replacement. He is, after all, the backup punter ... Oops, the Argos have actually won six games in a row, not five as reported here yesterday.


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