(Montreal) Fans attending the game between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Alouettes on Saturday should bring the Montreal roster, as it will include several changes to its starting players.

If what the media saw during the team’s practice Thursday at Percival-Molson Stadium comes to fruition, then no less than five different starters will be in the roster.

Thus, receiver Tyler Snead practiced in place of Keshunn Abram; linebacker Bryce Notree replaced Avery Williams, while Kordell Rodgers replaced defensive back Dionte Ruffin during the session.

Ruffin injured his right leg about halfway through practice. We do not yet know the severity of this injury, any more than that suffered by Lestage, for that matter.

Philippe Gagnon acted as left guard in place of Pier-Olivier Lestage, who was injured during training on Tuesday.

Gagnon hasn’t played much since the arrival of Lestage, who quickly established himself as a left guard after joining from the Seattle Seahawks. Lestage started the last six games of the season in addition to the Alouettes’ two playoff games.

Far from rejoicing in the injury of a teammate, he realizes that this is an opportunity for him to regain his place within the offensive line.

“You never wish harm on anyone, especially teammates, but this is an opportunity to be had. Every week, I prepare as if I was going to start the match. I prepare for any eventuality, so that the level of quality of play does not decrease if I play. »

The work of a lineman is less noticeable to the eye of neophytes – unlike that of a pass receiver or a quarterback, for example – but Gagnon knows what he will have to do to score points with the coaching staff.

“It’s true that it won’t be ‘flashy’; it won’t be obvious, but you have to make the right assignment with the right technique. If you block the right guy with the right technique, then the coaches see that. »

Defensive back R.J. Read also did rehearsals with the first unit in defense, while in the Alouettes’ backfield, it appears that Walter Fletcher will make his first start as a substitute for William Stanback, in place of Canadian Jeshrun Antwi.

“It seems to be the case,” said Fletcher, who had yet to get confirmation from the coaching staff. […] It’s a team sport, we have two wins in two games, all I can do is train hard, know the playbook and be ready when we do call on my services. »

While he admits it may not be ideal against a squad like the Bombers (2-1) — who have made the last three Gray Cup finals and won the title in 2019 and 2021 — , Alouettes head coach (2-0), Jason Maas, said the 45 players on his roster were able to compete with all the teams on the Ambrosie circuit.

“I see it as an opportunity for the next on the list to shine,” he said Thursday. We said we would need all 45 players in our organization every week, and the guys here are there for a reason. These 45 guys can walk the field and represent the Alouettes. That’s what they’re going to do. »

Comments also made by Cody Fajardo.

“It’s never a good thing to see teammates fall in battle. The only good side is perhaps that it happens at the beginning of the season, indicated the quarterback No. 1 of the Alouettes. It is also true that in Winnipeg we face a club of veterans, who have played several big games together. We will definitely have to play our best football. But it is a challenge that enchants us. »

It remains to prove it on the field from 7 p.m. on Saturday.

At the end of the afternoon, the Alouettes also announced on their social networks the release of defensive back Kerfalla Exumé.

The former University of Montreal Carabin, a four-year veteran in the CFL, had not been used by Maas yet this season.

For the 19th time, the Alouettes will partner with Purolator to hold the Blitz Against Hunger event this Saturday. For the occasion, the two organizations invite supporters to bring non-perishable food or make donations for people in need.

Starting at 5:30 p.m., people will be able to drop off their food in baskets located at each entrance to Percival-Molson Stadium, under the supervision of volunteers, the Alouettes, Purolator and Moisson Montréal.

During this association, the Alouettes and Purolator collected hundreds of thousands of pounds of food for local food banks.

Moisson Montreal currently receives nearly 900,000 requests for food assistance per month through the organization’s network, an increase of nearly 185,000 monthly users since 2021. During this period, the price of food has increased by 18%. For every dollar donated, Moisson Montreal redistributes more than $15 worth of food.

Those unable to attend the game can make a donation to Moisson Montreal at blitzcontrelafaimdepurolator.com.