The Blue Bombers are down to two healthy import offensive tackles but only one with pro experience.
Import Glenn January, who started all 18 games for Winnipeg last season, suffered a torn pectoral muscle in Sunday’s pre-season game against the Montreal Alouettes and is out indefinitely, head coach Paul LaPolice said Tuesday.
The Bombers did not know if January would require surgery.
“It’s a torn pec so it will be some time that he will be out,” LaPolice said. “We’ll evaluate and keep going as we’re looking for guys.”
Ex-NFLer Kelly Butler will almost assuredly start the season now, with Andre Douglas, another import, pushing him.
RIFLE DEBUT: Winnipeg Rifles receiver Yembeh Moiba suited up for his very first CFL contest on Sunday and hit the playing field in the fourth quarter.
“It was very exciting,” Moiba said. “Coach told me two days before that I was dressing and that I would go in in the fourth quarter. So, I was really excited and it was fun. That was a great experience.
“I didn’t make any catches, I just did my job and blocked and just did whatever they wanted from me … I felt good. I had a few friends and family and it was a really good experience.”
LaPolice allowed a smile when asked about the youngster.
“I’m sure it was great for him,” he said. “It’s great when those guys get an opportunity to play and the players really like him because he works hard … It’s great for Yembeh and, with our numbers (of injured receivers), he keeps getting reps and that’s good for him.”
One of those injured pass catchers is import David Ball (hamstring).
The Bombers brought in a new import WR, Jamayel Smith, a 6-foot, 189-pound Mississippi State product. Smith, 25, spent last season with the United Football League’s New York Sentinels.
“He’s a big target from Mississippi State and has an ability to run,” said LaPolice, adding that Smith had been on the club’s radar screen for a couple of weeks. “I know he’s got good abilities and I know that Mr. (GM Joe) Mack likes him a lot.”