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Following the Winnipeg Blue Bombers closed practice on Wednesday afternoon at IG Field, Chris Matthews told reporters he was healthy and ready to go for Friday night’s 7:30 p.m. kickoff against the Ottawa RedBlacks.
But on Thursday morning, Matthews remained on the Blue Bombers one-game injured list when the team’s week six roster was revealed.
When Head Coach Mike O’Shea was asked if Matthews was a ‘healthy scratch’ during his media availability session on Thursday, he somewhat stick-handled around the situation.
“I think that’s the way you want to word it,” said O’Shea from the podium in the Blue Bombers’ press room at IG Field following the walk-through.
“There’s always a variety of reasons why you set the roster the way you do. I know for a fact that we’ve got a lot of depth and a lot of talent and guys that are working. I also know, or believe that Chris Matthews is going to be a big part of why we win games further on down the season.”
The 2019 season has not gone well thus far for Matthews, due to injuries that sidelined him for all of the preseason, and two of the team’s first four regular-season games.
The 6-5, 230 pound native of Long Beach, Calif. had just three catches for 26 yards before dislocating his right pinkie finger in the first half of the 29-14 win at Ottawa nearly two weeks ago.
In the meantime, speedy newcomer Lucky Whitehead has emerged as the Blue Bomber top receiver while Nic Demski and Darvin Adams have continued to “stretch the field.”
Newcomer Kenny Lawler will start at right slotback for the second week in a row Friday, while speedster Kenny Walker was activated from the practice roster to take the place of injured returner Charles Nelson.
The Blue Bombers also made two other changes for their second and final meeting of the regular season versus the RedBlacks. Linebacker Dale Warren and Defensive Back Deondre Wright take the place of Nick Temple (released) and Jesse Briggs (six-game injured list).
Adam Bighill remains a question mark for Friday’s game, amid speculation he’ll be one of the two scratches just before kickoff, as was the case last Friday vs Toronto.
680 CJOB will have all the action beginning at 5:30 p.m with Bob Irving, Doug Brown, Ed Tait, Greg Mackling and the pregame show from the tailgate area of IG Field.
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