Reid throws down challenge

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:31 AM ET

Saturday night's tilt at Canad Inns Stadium will feature Winnipeg's league-leading rushing attack against Montreal's league-leading run defence.

The battle should be a dandy, and Bombers running back Fred Reid has already fired the first shot.

"They got an OK defensive line," Reid said of the Alouettes. "The (line)backers are not all that good. Not to me."

Bomber linebacker Barrin Simpson's eyes opened wide when he overheard Reid's bold statement and said those words will end up on Montreal's bulletin board.

The confident Reid, who had 167 rushing yards on Saturday in Calgary, was unfazed.

"I know they're going to come in here and try to stop me, but we're not going to let that happen this week. No sir," he said. "We can still be successful against these guys. We just gotta come out and play our game; play like we played the second half in Calgary and we'll be OK."

The Bombers had 212 rushing yards in the second half on Saturday against the Stampeders after mustering only 20 in the first half.

This season, Calgary has allowed a league-worst 139 rushing yards per contest. Montreal, whose linebacking corps consists of Chip Cox, Diamond Ferri and Shea Emry, is first in that department, has given up 58 per game.

INJURY UPDATE: Just when it appeared James Johnson was starting to show signs of getting Winnipeg's return game going, a turf toe injury has made him doubtful for Saturday's game.

Johnson suffered the injury during Tuesday's practice. Jovon Johnson, who has six punt returns for five yards this season, did most of the returning during yesterday's workout.

Linebacker Siddeeq Shabazz, who missed last week's game in Calgary with a bruised foot, returned to the practice field yesterday but remains day-to-day.

"He moved around pretty well," Kelly said. "I actually stood behind the defence to watch him specifically. He wasn't quite as fluid as what you normally see out of an athlete of his calibre, but certainly I think he could probably play through it.

"We'll just have to make that determination of 'Is it a good idea to force him into this game or not?' I know he'll want to play."

Other spectators yesterday were receiver Aaron Hargreaves (groin), centre Obby Khan (knee) and defensive tackle Michael Landry (calf). Head coach Mike Kelly said Khan is probable, while Hargreaves is day-to-day.

Linebacker Pierre-Luc Labbe, who has missed two games with a knee injury, is back practising this week and could play on Saturday.


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