The Winnipeg Blue Bombers will not have the CFL leader in interception when they face the league’s most turnover-prone quarterback on Friday.
Demerio Houston (knee) has been placed on the one-game injured list ahead of the West Division deciding matchup against the B.C. Lions. The 27-year-old has played in 14 games this season, collecting 48 defensive tackles and seven interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown.
Jamal Parker will take over for Houston in the secondary, having recorded seven total tackles in five games this year. In 12 games last season, the 25-year-old collected 37 defensive tackles, eight special team tackles, a sack and an interception.
Softening the blow of Houston’s absence is the return of star kick returner Janarion Grant, who has missed the last 10 games with an ankle injury.
In five games this season, Grant has returned 12 kickoffs for 298 yards and 23 punts for 315 yards and a touchdown, while adding 27 yards on missed field goal returns, 17 yards receiving, and 13 yards rushing.
The 29-year-old recorded five return touchdowns in 2022, three in the regular season and two more in the playoffs. That included a record-setting 102-yard return that came during the team’s Grey Cup loss to Toronto.
Since joining the team in 2019, Grant has amassed 1,963 yards on kick returns and 2,108 yards on punt returns. He is the Bombers’ all-time franchise leader with eight regular-season return touchdowns.
The Bombers (11-4) will visit the Lions (11-4) on Friday, October 6 at 10:00 p.m. EDT. The two teams have split the season series at one game a piece, with the winner of this contest receiving a substantial advantage in the battle for top spot in the West Division.