Winnipeg – Winnipeg Blue Bombers will have Weston Dressler back in their lineup when they visit the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sunday but the other former Rider receiver who signed as a free agent with the Bombers last winter might not be lining up against his former team in the annual labor day weekend Blue Bomber-Rider clash. And it has nothing to do with his health. Smith took part in both Blue Bomber practices this week and declared himself 100% recovered from the injury that knocked him out of the lineup in mid-July. But, Smith has been working with the second team offence and it certainly appears that the Bombers will hold Smith out one more week and go with rookie Gerrard Sheppard in their starting receiving corps.
Head coach Mike O’Shea has said that when Dressler and Smith are starters and when healthy they will be on the field. However, Smith has one game left to complete his stint on the 6-game injured list and this is where the salary cap comes in. Players on the 6-game injury list don’t have their salaries count against the cap as long as they stay there the full six games. If they are taken off early, as Dressler will be, their salary for their time on the injured list immediately goes against the cap. Head coach Mike O’Shea would not address directly the possibility that Smith might be left out of Sundays game due to salary cap issues. But he did say that the salary cap can sometimes be a consideration when roster decisions are made.
A final decision on the roster won’t be made until Friday at the earliest, but right now it appears that Dressler is in, Smith is questionable or even doubtful(even though he’s healthy) and Jermarcus Hardrick will return to his right tackle spot replace Manasse Foketi, who started the last two games.
Defensive tackle Jake Thomas left Thursday’s practice with a leg or foot injury. His status for Sunday is uncertain.
And the Bombers will wear JM decals on their helmets in Regina in support of the clubs former long-time marketing manager Jerry Maslowsky, who is in hospital fighting a severe illness.