Rookie vows to swim, not sink, in Blue debut

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:40 AM ET

HAMILTON — Most CFL rookies get about a week’s notice before they play their first games.

Deon Beasley got a couple of days as the Bombers tried to figure out how to make their ratio work while making seven roster changes.

“It kind of snuck up on me,” the former Texas Longhorns cornerback admitted Friday. “Most guys got a few days, a few weeks. I didn’t anticipate it, but I’m always expecting to play. You never know what the situation could be.

“So now that I got the opportunity I’m going to do whatever it takes to try and get in that end zone.”

Beasley is scheduled to return kickoffs for the Bombers on Saturday, which is a task he hasn’t performed since high school. The only returning experience Beasley had at Texas was one punt return for four yards in 2007.

Beasley practised returning kicks on Thursday at Rods Field, and he had trouble gauging a few of them. What the 22-year-old may lack in experience will be made up with enthusiasm.

“I’m excited, man,” he said. “It’s another opportunity for me to play football — one that I didn’t have two months ago. Now that I got that opportunity I’m going to take full advantage of it and try to help the Bombers do whatever it takes to win.”

THREE STRAIGHT: The Bombers flirted with the idea of putting No. 1 quarterback Buck Pierce on the roster, moving him from the one-game injured list to the 46-man lineup, but ultimately decided to leave him in Winnipeg.

That officially means Steven Jyles will make his third straight start for the Bombers.

“He’s a very good passer. He’s poised in the pocket,” Ticats head coach Marcel Bellefeuille said of Jyles. “Everyone knows he brings a different part of the game with his legs in terms of being able to run the football and make things happen on the move. He doesn’t get enough credit to be able to stand in the pocket.”

Pierce, who has missed the last two games with a sprained knee, will have a good shot at starting next week’s rematch against the Tiger-Cats.

BRACE FOR IT: Punter Mike Renaud will wear a brace on his kicking leg when he returns to the lineup on Saturday.

The team said he missed last week’s game in Calgary due to a bruised knee, but it was actually a ligament problem. Renaud, who is the league’s top punter with a 49.9-yard average, tore his ACL last October in Hamilton.

“I don’t know what’s going on,” Renaud said. “I didn’t read the MRI, but it’s something worrisome enough to play with a brace and to prevent further damage. I’m anxious to get out there and just punt.”

Renaud said the brace was actually helping his punts in practice this week.

LATE HITS: New starters for the Bombers this week are linebacker Bernard Hicks, receiver Chris Davis and safety Brady Browne. Defensive tackle Dorian Smith returns after missing three weeks … The Tiger-Cats will use newcomer Eric Wilbur as their punter after parting ways with Justin Palardy earlier in the week. “He’s been with three NFL teams and kicked at the University of Florida, so he’s seen his share of pressure,” Bellefeuille said … Jykine Bradley will start at cornerback for the Ticats after missing three games with a neck injury … The Bombers have 62 fourth-quarter points, one fewer than Saskatchewan’s league-leading 63 entering Week 6 … Saturday’s forecast in Hamilton calls for sunny skies and a high of 24 C.


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