Key day for pair

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:47 AM ET

Two starters on the Bomber defence are getting closer to not playing in Saturday's East Division semifinal against the Eskimos.

Safety Ian Logan (turf toe) and outside linebacker Ike Charlton (ankle) both watched their second straight practices yesterday, although head coach Doug Berry said if they practise today they can play on Saturday.

"We'll see where they're at (today)," Berry said.

Jason Nugent, a former Eskimo, has filled in at safety during practice, while Kelly Malveaux has lined up at linebacker for Charlton.

In Edmonton, left tackle Garrick Jones (head) still hasn't taken first-team reps this week. Defensive tackle Dario Romero didn't practise yesterday but should play.

DONNELLY DONE: Offensive lineman Ryan Donnelly will have to wait yet another year to play his first CFL playoff game.

The former Hamilton Tiger-Cat, who has appeared in 120 regular-season games without playing a post-season contest, will have season-ending surgery done on his right knee today.

Donnelly has been out since Oct. 4 with what the team called a shoulder injury, but Berry said the 29-year-old has been bothered by knee problems all season.

The only time the Ticats made the playoffs during Donnelly's stint with the team, in 2004, he had to sit out due to injury as well.

WHERE'S THE LOVE? The agent for Bomber offensive lineman Brendon LaBatte is none too happy that his client is not the East Division's rookie of the year.

Mark Maren said the voting group, which consists of the Football Reporters of Canada and CFL head coaches, should have given 22-year-old LaBatte the nod over Hamilton receiver Prechae Rodriguez, who had 1,099 receiving yards.

Maren said he's not trying to take anything away from Rodriguez. He simply feels a prime opportunity to promote a Canuck in the Canadian league was missed.

"You've got LaBatte, who didn't give up a sack, only had two penalties on him and played every down, every snap, except for the one he was out with a concussion. That's my frustrating thing," Maren said yesterday from Toronto.

"What message does that send to CIS kids and to Canadian kids, that you come in and you start at something and you excel as something other than a special teams player for your first year, but you get passed by because somebody puts up numbers?"

READY TO RUN: Bombers running back Joe Smith doesn't care if the weather is snowy, sunny, windy, rainy or gorgeous. He can't wait to haul the rock on Saturday.

A winter storm watch was issued for southern Manitoba yesterday, so the conditions could be nasty. That would be just fine with Smith.

"If it's going to rain, if it's going to be cold or snow, it will play a bigger part in this game," he said.


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