Who will start behind centre? Itís 50/50

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:48 PM ET

Winnipegís starting quarterback could be revealed as late as the teamís first offensive play on Friday night.

Head coach Paul LaPolice said his starting pivot against the Tiger-Cats is still a 50/50 proposition. Either Steven Jyles will make his fourth consecutive start or Buck Pierce will return from a sprained right knee.

Jyles, who is 1-2 as the starter, took the bulk of the reps with the first-team offence on Wednesday, the teamís final practice of the week, but Pierce was moving the pocket and throwing with the second team.

ďHe had a good day,Ē LaPolice said of Pierce, who will dress on Friday night.

If Pierce is going to get the ball, LaPolice wants him to be able to move well enough to escape the clutches of defensive players, which would limit his chances of getting hurt. LaPolice said head athletic therapist Alain Couture will have ďa lot of inputĒ on whether Pierce plays.

ďAlain does a great job of getting us informed on what each guy has and when he can be ready,Ē LaPolice said. ďIf (the knee) is stable and heís just got some soreness that he has to work through, thatís something you could be comfortable with.Ē

Dating back to last season when he was with the B.C. Lions, Pierce has been healthy for only nine of his last 19 games. So he wants to play, but heís going to let the experts make the decision.

ďThatís why we have trainers and thatís why we have guys that you have to answer to,Ē said Pierce, who will wear a brace if he plays. ďIíve been a victim of (coming back too early) quite a few times. You know, pressure on me to go out there and play when it wasnít 100%. Sometimes that results in a lacklustre performance by the individual.

ďÖ I just want to get out there and play again. I just want to go out there and compete and hopefully give our team a good chance to be successful.Ē

Pierce didnít have an answer when asked how healthy his knee actually was.

ďIím not very good at that percentage stuff,Ē he said. ďMy headís 100%, so Iím good.Ē

LATE HITS: It appears receiver Jamayel Smith will make his Bomber debut on Friday as one of the two kick returners Ö Alex Suber and Clint Kent were the starting halfbacks on Wednesday, while Brandon Stewart, who has started all six games this season but struggled last week against the Ticats, was serving as the sixth defensive back Ö Even though Luke Fritz is starting at left tackle, the Bombers still had Canadians Aaron Hargreaves and Brock Ralph in the starting receiving corps Ö The Tiger-Cats have signed former Bomber receiver (and former Ticat) David Ball.


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