Simpson steps back in as if nothing had happened

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 3:21 AM ET

If you forget about the trade request, the injury list debacle, the grievance, the team's demand for him to stay away from the locker-room and then its unlikely request to bring him back, it's almost as if nothing ever happened with Barrin Simpson.

Simpson is right back where he started now that his replacement at middle linebacker, Joe Lobendahn, is on the shelf indefinitely with a hamstring injury. He will start for the Bombers (6-9) on Saturday against the Montreal Alouettes (13-2).

Simpson was brought back for the Thanksgiving Day win over Hamilton since Lobendahn had another hamstring problem, but he was a healthy scratch in Winnipeg's 24-21 loss to the B.C. Lions on Sunday.

Now he's back in the starting lineup, and it's unknown when the oft-injured Lobendahn will return.

He downplayed the situation when asked how strange his ride has been.

"I just want to go out and win," Simpson said. "Me and everybody in this locker-room is chasing a championship. That's what I do. That's my entire focus, is to have the ability to win a championship.

"I always keep myself prepared and ready to go and do my job. When I go out there, it's guaranteed I'm going to do my job well."

LATE HITS: Running back Fred Reid (hip) didn't practise yesterday and will probably get most of the week off but should play, according to head coach Mike Kelly ... Wide receiver Brock Ralph (hamstring) also watched most of yesterday's workout ... Punter Troy Westwood didn't get his old locker back because the man he replaced, the injured Mike Renaud, inhabits the space. Just like any newcomer, Westwood's in the bank of lockers in the middle of the room ... The Bombers have signed running back Rafael Little, 23, to their practice roster. The 5-foot-9, 195-pound South Carolina product had 5,343 all-purpose yards at the University of Kentucky, which ranks eighth in SEC history, and was recently released by the Tennessee Titans ... Saturday's game against the Alouettes will be blacked out locally on TSN.

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


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