'Chance to refocus'

KEN WIEBE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

Kelly Bates heard the message loud and clear.

Although Bates was in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers starting lineup and played in the first and third quarters in last week's 19-5 loss to the Toronto Argonauts, the veteran right guard was benched in favour of Ryan Donnelly in the second and fourth quarters.

"I've never had that happen in professional sports, I'd probably have to go back to my junior days," said Bates, who was acquired from the B.C. Lions during the off-season. "I think it was purposeful and it helped me refocus myself and that's what is key."

Kelly said the reason behind sitting Bates down for the second and fourth quarters was simple.

"There were two players in particular on the offensive line that need to just play better and they didn't play well the other night," said Kelly. "We have to get better play out of the interior there."

Kelly didn't single out Obby Khan by name, but did say Donnelly would be taking some snaps at centre this week.

THE BLAME GAME: Quarterback Stefan LeFors was asked if he felt he was shouldering too much of the blame for the Blue Bombers 1-3 start to the CFL season.

"In-house, no. In this locker room, people know what's going on and outside this locker room, people don't know," said LeFors. "They think they know, but they have no idea. But that's what they do. It doesn't get to me. They're going to do what they do. They can boo, they can scream, try to do whatever they do and it's not going to affect how I play.

"I'm going to continue to be the same guy, never get high or too low. Things will happen, I'm going to take it in stride, try to get better as a player and it's not going to affect me as a person."

INJURY UPDATE: Kelly said that linebacker Joe Lobendahn (shoulder) is doubtful, while receiver Adarius Bowman (hip flexor) is day-to-day but could be upgraded from doubtful to possible depending on how things go this week.

Linebacker Piere-Luc Labbe will likely be out four weeks after suffering a knee injury against the Argos.


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