B.C. Lions find themselves in good news/bad news situation with receivers

Lucky Whitehead, who missed Saturday’s home opener against the Edmonton Elks, was back at practice on Monday but Dominique Rhymes didn’t hit the field with team

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One key receiver returned to B.C. Lions practice on Monday but another was absent.

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Lucky Whitehead (hamstring), who sat out Saturday’s 22-0 home opener win against the Edmonton Elks, was back on the field with his teammates but Dominique Rhymes (foot) did not take part in the action. Rhymes was spotted on the sidelines in the late going Saturday with an ice bag on his foot.

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It’s a short week for B.C. (2-0), with a visit Thursday to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2-0).

Lions coach Rick Campbell said after practice Monday that Rhymes was getting tests done and the 29-year-old remained “optimistic” about playing against Thursday.

Whitehead, 31, was hurt in the June 8 season opener, a 25-15 win over the host Calgary Stampeders. He left that game for a time but did return to finish it. He didn’t practice at all last week, though, and rookie Ayden Eberhardt took his spot in the lineup against the Elks.

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“I’m excited to get back out there and get back into the flow,” Whitehead said after practice Monday. “I hate watching games.”

The Lions do have aspirations of another playoff run and Whitehead maintained that he has a big-picture view in mind right now.

“Right now, I’m just trying to be smart,” he said. “Hamstrings are very tricky.

“You have to be savvy. You have to be available. Everyone knows that when I’m healthy I can be a force. I need to stay there.”

Winnipeg beat B.C. 28-20 in last year’s Western final. Former Blue Bomber Whitehead says Winnipeg has “great energy, confidence.”

“It’s going to be fun. Obviously it’s two of the better teams in the CFL right now,” he continued. “Both have high-powered offences and high-powered defences. It’s going to be fun in all three phases of football … special teams as well.”

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The game will be a measuring stick for where the Lions are at, but Whitehead was quick to add: “We’re not winning a championship on Thursday. We want to be all healthy and win those games at the end of the season.”

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Twitter: @SteveEwen

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reference: theprovince.com

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