Minister of Defence returns

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:32 AM ET

The Minister of Defence will be back in action this weekend.

Winnipeg middle linebacker Barrin Simpson, who was a healthy scratch when the Blue Bombers played the B.C. Lions on Sunday, will replace the injured Joe Lobendahn when Winnipeg plays host to the Montreal Alouettes this Saturday.

Lobendahn suffered a serious hamstring pull Sunday and will miss the next two games, head coach Mike Kelly said. Lobendahn aggravated the injury while trying to chase down running back A.J. Harris on a 30-yard touchdown reception.

"It was a shame because he was trying to get there and his body was failing him," Kelly said.

STILL IN HUNT: With Hamilton also losing on the weekend, the Bombers are not out of any playoff picture yet. But they will have to face the Alouettes in back-to-back games before finishing the season versus the Tiger-Cats.

"There's just more pressure to win now," said defensive halfback Lenny Walls. "Taking on a team like Montreal is

going to be tough. You've got to bring your A game. I respect them. They're the best team in the league right now so, there's no ifs, ands or butts about how we need to play next week."

Winnipeg is tied with Hamilton for second in the CFL East at 6-9.

"We're in charge of our own destiny here," Kelly said. "We let an opportunity get away, but it doesn't kill us."

OH-OH: After Bomber C Obby Khan was punched, Kelly had to settle G Brendon LaBatte down because he did not want to lose LaBatte as well. That would have pressed FB Jon Oosterhuis into guard duty.

"I wasn't too thrilled about that," Kelly said. "As much as I like Jon, I wasn't looking forward to that scenario happening."

PICK-ING UP: When Bomber DB Jonathan Hefney picked off Travis Lulay while covering Geroy Simon in the endzone, it marked his fourth of his rookie campaign.

"I think Geroy was a little surprised that I came out of nowhere," Hefney said. "But we still lost the game so that kind of hurt. I could have enjoyed if we could have won."

With two interceptions Sunday, Jovon Johnson now has a league-leading six on the season. Walls, who is tied for second with five, told Hefney he would have nine if he played on the other side of the secondary (Hefney's).

OLD FRIENDS: After he got the offer to return from Kelly, Troy Westwood called former Bomber punter Bob Cameron and got messages from both former Bomber QB Khari Jones and ex-Bomber FB Wade Miller.

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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