Winnipeg – Winnipeg Blue Bombers have made three changes to their starting lineup for Friday’s game in Montreal but one of them is not on the offensive line. Jermarcus Hardrick and Manasse Foketi shared reps the first two days of the practice week at the right tackle position, but on Wednesday, Foketi got the bulk of the work and head coach Mike O’Shea said Foketi would be the starter for the second week in a row. Foketi got his chance when Hardrick was injured in the win over Hamilton August 3rd and he played so well in the teams last game in Toronto that O’Shea didn’t feel a change was warranted. Foketi is a player the Bombers have been pursuing for nearly two years and the 6-foot 5-inch 325 pound native of Tonga will be hard to move out of the lineup now that he has been given his chance. Hardick had played well and the fact that he has to remain on the sidelines is reflective of the competition and the depth the Bombers have built on what is without question the teams best offensive line since O’Shea became head coach in 2014.
Two of the three lineup changes this week are at the receiver position where veterans Weston Dressler, Ryan Smith and Darvin Adams remain on the sidelines with injuries. Quincy McDuffie comes off the one-game injured list to replace Jace Davis as a starting inside receiver. And, rookie Gerrard Sheppard will take over from Kris Adams as another of the starting five pass-catchers. Defensively, all-star cornerback Johnny Adams is finally recovered from a training camp hamstring injury and will make his season debut in Montreal. He will replace rookie Terrence Frederick, who was hurt in the Toronto game after impressing the coaching staff in his first three starts.
The 4-4 Bombers will be out to avenge a season opening loss to the Alouettes. Montreal is 3-5 but O’Shea expects the Als to be a handful after their impressive mauling of the Ottawa RedBlacks in their last outing. Catch the game on 680-cjob starting at 5pm Friday with the pre-game show.