Another week, another boatload of roster moves for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
While their counterparts from Saskatchewan are expected to field the same lineup as it did in last week’s Labour Day Classic, the Bombers are making five — and possibly six — personnel changes.
The potential sixth switch involves cornerback/kick returner Deon Beasley, whose shoulder injury is apparently worse than the Bombers are letting on.
That’s why Donald Brown Jr., who was cut in early August and didn’t practise all week, was added to the 46-man roster on Saturday.
If Beasley can’t go, Brown will likely end up playing in his spot. Brown attended training camp and was already released and brought back once before, so he knows the Bomber playbook.
Andre Douglas goes back to his starting left tackle spot after missing three games with a knee injury, while newcomer Chris Garrett will return kickoffs.
The other three changes involve backups and special teamers.
TRAVEL PAINS: Instead of taking a 51/2-hour bus ride to Winnipeg on Saturday, the Roughriders opted to hop a 6 a.m. flight to Calgary, enjoy a four-hour layover, and then double back to the Manitoba capital.
“That was long,” quarterback Darian Durant said. “That was something that no one on the team was looking forward to, and we’re just glad it’s over.”
While Ken Miller has said most players would rather fly, Durant said he would’ve gladly rumbled down the Trans-Canada on Saturday, noting their layover in Calgary was almost as long as what ground transportation would have taken.
The Riders almost always have to fly through Calgary regardless of where they’re going, since there are few direct flights out of Regina. It might not be a coincidence that they are 5-0 at home this season but 1-3 on the road.
“You don’t want to say that it’s travel arrangements, but it definitely is inconvenient sometimes,” Durant said. “It cuts into your rest time and things like that, and the day before a game is the most important rest day for an athlete.
“It’s something we can’t control. We deal pretty well with distractions, and we’ll try our best not to let this one bother us.”
REPELLENT NEEDED: The Riders spent the week trying to come up with ways to stop stalwart Bomber defensive ends Odell Willis and Phillip Hunt, who had Durant running for his life last Sunday.
“We have to figure out a way to help get a block,” head coach Ken Miller said. “I don’t know if we’ll stop them, but hopefully we get them stopped on occasion because last week they were just all over the field.”
LATE HITS: The Bombers have placed quarterback Buck Pierce on the nine-game injured list … Since 2008, Winnipeg is 1-23 when trailing at the half … The Roughriders have not allowed a 100-yard rusher this season … The Bombers were 0-for-10 on second-and-seven or longer last week in Regina … Winnipeg is 2-2 at home and 0-5 on the road this season … The Banjo Bowl is sold out, and the forecast calls for sunny skies, a high of 17 C and a 30 km/h west wind.