Winnipeg – If the first practice of the week is any indication, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers should be ridiculously healthy when they visit the B.C. Lions Sunday in the CFL West Division semi-final. The five key regulars who missed the final regular season game in Ottawa all took part in practice Wednesday on a sunny and surprisingly balmy 17-degree day at Investors Group Field. Offensive lineman Travis Bond and Sukh Chung along with linebackers Ian Wild and Khalil Bass will almost certainly be back in the starting lineup against the Lions while receiver Clarence Denmark appears to be a good bet to return as well. Denmark’s status was more tenuous last week, but he took turns with Quincy McDuffie at one of the receiver positions on Wednesday and looked to be in top form. Denmark’s return to health would push Tori Gurley off the roster while Manasse Foketi and Pat Neufeld would suffer a similar fate with Chung and Bond back on the offensive line. Wild would replace Tony Burnett and Bass would take over from Sam Hurl as starters at linebacker.
Head coach Mike O’Shea wouldn’t confirm anything about his roster. He said those decisions would be made later in the week. But players who practice with the first team units are almost always the ones who will play and that description fits Bond, Chung, Wild, Bass and Denmark.
Meanwhile, six Bombers were named to the CFL West Division all-star team on Wednesday led by record breaking kicker Justin Medlock. Bond and running Back Andrew Harris were named to the Western offensive team while linebacker Moe Leggett, safety Taylor Loffler and defensive halfback TJ Heath made the West defensive unit. Heath made it largely off his strong play with the Toronto Argonauts. He has only played 6 games with the Bombers since coming over in the Drew Willy trade.