Reid on sidelines, but expected to play

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

Fred Reid missed his second consecutive practice yesterday due to a hip flexor injury he suffered on Monday in Hamilton.

Despite that, Bombers backup running back Yvenson Bernard believes he and Santa Claus have the same chance of starting on Sunday against the B.C. Lions.

"You know he's going to come back," Bernard said emphatically. "I know he'll be back. Guaranteed."

OK, but what if Reid can't ...

"I'll put my word on it," Bernard interjected. "I've had what he has. Two or three days, and I was good to go."

Head coach Mike Kelly also vouched for Reid's availability on Sunday, so it appears he'll be good to go. And really, who wouldn't want to play the Lions after dropping 260 rushing yards on them the last time the teams met?

That's what Reid did when the Bombers pummelled the Leos 37-10 on Aug. 21 at B.C. Place. It was the third-best single-game rushing total in CFL history. Bernard had 112 rushing yards in that contest, and no one noticed.

"We're going to stick to our game plan -- the misdirection, the two-back formations. That's our offence," Bernard said. "We try to utilize me and Fred as much as we can and try to open up things in the passing game as well."

Left tackle Steve Morley, who has a sore groin but is expected to play on Sunday, expects more resistance at the line of scrimmage in the rematch.

"It'll be a different story this game," Morley said, "because they'll want to come in here and prove that last time was a fluke."

Meanwhile, Lions running back Martell Mallett hasn't practised all week due to a foot problem and might not play on Sunday, according to the Vancouver Sun.

Reid leads the CFL with 1,135 rushing yards, while Mallett is only eight behind.

FEISTY: The Bombers have won three in a row, but that doesn't mean they've lost their fire. That was evident midway through yesterday's workout when right tackle Glenn January and defensive end Chase Ortiz threw punches at the conclusion of a play.

January ripped Ortiz's helmet off, grabbed the back of his jersey and landed a couple of sold blows. Then, in true hockey enforcer style, January raised his arms in victory as he headed back to the huddle.

TICKET UPDATE: The Bombers sold approximately 800 tickets in a 24-hour span between Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.

The total number sold, as of 4 p.m. yesterday, was 20,058. The forecast, however, keeps getting better. Environment Canada is now calling for a high of 13 C and sunny skies.

That doesn't make Kelly happy. Considering three of his team's final four games are at home, he was hoping for nasty conditions that would have the opposition shivering as the Bombers ran the ball down their throats.

"I want 1 or 0 -- somewhere in there," Kelly said.

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


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