Rookie Celestin Haba returns for Bombers, replaces injured DE Jackson Jeffcoat

Photo: Mike Still/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are swapping a pair of talented defensive ends for Saturday’s clash with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Veteran Jackson Jeffcoat (hip) has been placed on the one-game injured list and will be unable to play after missing practice on Thursday. The 32-year-old quietly remains one of the CFL’s best edge defenders, recording 17 defensive tackles, five sacks, and two forced fumbles while drawing rave reviews for his play against the run.

Fortunately for Winnipeg, the injury coincides with the return of rookie Celestin Haba to the lineup. The 24-year-old out of Texas A&M-Commerce played in the first six games of the season before going down with injury, recording nine tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble during a promising start to his career.

Joining Haba up front will be fellow rookie Tanner Schmekel. The fourth-round defensive tackle out of the University of Regina is making his second appearance of the season, replacing receiver Jeremy Murphy (hip) who has been placed on the six-game injured list.

Still out long-term for the Bombers are linebackers Jared Beeksma and Shayne Gauthier, defensive backs Alden Darby and Desmond Lawrence, defensive end Thiadric Hansen, fullback Mike Miller, and returner Janarion Grant.

The Bombers (10-3) will visit the Ticats (5-7) on Saturday, September 16 at 4:00 p.m. EDT. The two teams met in Week 1, with Winnipeg securing a 42-31 victory at home.

Photo courtesy: Winnipeg Blue Bombers