The Winnipeg Blue Bombers look to extend their home winning streak to eight games when they face the BC Lions on Thursday. The Blue Bombers edged the Calgary Stampeders 26-24 in Week 9 to end a two-game skid while regaining sole possession of first place in the West Division and hope to extend their lead at the top of the standings by sweeping the season series with the Lions following a 33-23 victory June 15.
"I can't even tell you how different 6-2 looks than 5-3," Winnipeg quarterback Matt Nichols told reporters. "It's big for where we are in the standings now but it's even bigger for what those last couple weeks could mean." BC is left to pick up the pieces after blowing a double-digit lead in the 35-34 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The Lions seemed poised to end their three-game skid after taking a 15-point advantage into the fourth quarter, but collapsed in the final 15 minutes to continue their worst start since going 0-8 in 1992 and hope to stop the bleeding by knocking off a division rival for the first time this season. "We've shown that we can play with any team in the league but the wins keep slipping away," BC coach DeVone Claybrooks told reporters. "It's like they've got butter on them so maybe we need better gloves."
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, TSN, RDS2
ABOUT THE LIONS (1-7): Mike Reilly went 21-of-28 through the air for 306 yards with a pair of touchdown passes and two interceptions despite suffering an ankle injury against Hamilton, but the nine-year veteran is expected to play Thursday. John White rushed for 124 yards and a pair of touchdowns while Bryan Burnham hauled in seven passes for 149 yards and a score to extend his streak of games with at least one reception to 72. BC added a familiar face to the defence as it acquired defensive lineman Shawn Lemon, who recorded 10 sacks in 13 games with the Lions last season, from the Toronto Argonauts in exchange for Devon Coleman and a conditional eighth-round pick in the 2020 draft.
ABOUT THE BLUE BOMBERS (6-2): Janarion Grant had a CFL debut for the ages as he became the eighth player in league history to return two punts for touchdowns (76, 83 yards) in the win against Calgary. Grant finished with 306 total kick-return yards while Andrew Harris racked up 100 yards on 19 carries against the Stampeders to move within 60 of moving past Dave Thelen (8,463) for 10th place on the CFL's all-time rushing list. Starting right guard Cody Speller (leg) and defensive back Chris Humes (undisclosed) are questionable after they failed to finish the Calgary game because of injuries.
1. WInnipeg DB Winston Rose leads the CFL with six interceptions.
2. BC has surrendered 33 or more points in four consecutive games.
3. Harris has registered four 100-yard rushing games in 2019.
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bc-lions Stats 2019
|John White IV||11||0||639||32||118||6|
|John White IV||11||0||1||1||0||0||0||0|
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