Blue reinforce lineup as semi approaches

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:22 AM ET

More reinforcements will be at the ready as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers prepare to storm into the CFL post-season.

Backup defensive tackle Matt Kudu is off the nine-game injured list, while former starting middle linebacker Joe Lobendahn has one more game to go -- Saturday's East Division semifinal -- before he is eligible to return.

Linebacker Barrin Simpson and offensive lineman Kyle Koch are both healthy enough to play, but Simpson is on the nine-game list through the Grey Cup and Koch wouldn't come off until after the East Division final if the Bombers get that far.

Winnipeg can pull only one player off the nine-game list, and it could end up being Lobendahn this week if linebacker Ike Charlton (ankle) can't play on Saturday.

"If that were to be a situation," head coach Doug Berry said, "we might consider Cam Hall over there (in Charlton's spot) and Joe at (Hall's position), but we're not ready to even explore that right now."

Berry was asked if he would be hesitant to dress a player for a playoff contest even if he had been inactive for months.

"It all depends if we feel they give us the best chance to win," he said. "Of all the guys that we would consider coming off of nine-game, they've all played, so we know their abilities and we'd have to assess where they're at right now.

"As long as we felt like they would be comparable to where they were in the past, then we would be willing to play them."

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: Now that the regular season is complete, here are a few numbers for all you stat geeks out there:

- In the oddest twist of all, the Bombers finished with an 8-10 record for the first time. Ever. The Bombers have never been two games under .500 since the CFL went to an 18-game schedule in 1986.

- The Bombers made the playoffs after kicking off the season with four consecutive losses. It's the third time (in the seven seasons that they've started at least 0-4) that they've accomplished the feat since the CFL went to a 16-game schedule in 1952.

- Bomber receivers Terrence Edwards and Derick Armstrong both finished with 1,010 receiving yards. Armstrong had five more catches. Winnipeg's leading receiver, Romby Bryant, finished eighth in the CFL with 1,206 yards.

- A reason for the Blue and Gold faithful to have hope: The second-place finisher in the East Division has made it to the Grey Cup three of the last four years.

- The Calgary Stampeders boast the league's 2008 receiving and rushing kings: Receiver Ken-Yon Rambo had 1,473 receiving yards, while Joffrey Reynolds won his first rushing title with 1,310 yards.


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