THE CANADIAN PRESS
WINNIPEG -- Jovon Johnson isn't surprised it's his turn to be pulled into the upside-down world that's been the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' 2013 season.
The CFL's top defensive player in 2011 will switch from cornerback to safety when Winnipeg hosts the Edmonton Eskimo on Friday night.
Injuries are also forcing two new offensive linemen who began practising Tuesday to make their CFL debuts in the battle of the league's two worst teams.
"I've been in the defence probably longer than all of our coaches so I know what's going on, I know the defence inside and out,'' Johnson said after Thursday's walkthrough. "It makes more sense to move me to safety and switch one guy versus moving three guys that are all rookies into different spots and having them learn new jobs on the fly.''
Johnson, who hasn't played safety since November 2011, replaces the injured Cauchy Muamba (ankle). Defensive back Marty Markett will move to Johnson's corner spot.
After injuries to veteran offensive tackles Glenn January and Shannon Boatman, the Bombers brought in Americans Dan Knapp and Jarvis Jones and they'll see action at right and left tackle, respectively.
"It is strange, but I'm actually excited about it,'' said Knapp, who played in four NFL exhibition games last year with the Oakland Raiders.
The biggest differences Knapp must adjust to are the new rules and defences lining up a yard off the ball.
"It's something I've got to adjust to but I've been playing this game since the sixth grade,'' he said. "It comes natural, to a certain extent.''
Knapp and Jones will have the task of helping protect starter Max Hall, another change from last week's roster.
For those trying to keep track of Winnipeg's quarterback carousel, former Bomber Buck Pierce (traded to B.C. on Sept. 8 for receiver Akeem Foster) started the club's first four games before being injured. Justin Goltz then started two games, Hall the two after that before Goltz returned to start the last three contests.
The six-foot-four Foster will also play his first game for the Bombers, replacing injured receiver Cory Watson.
Bombers head coach Tim Burke said Hall was projected to be the No. 1 quarterback prior to being injured in Winnipeg's 37-14 road loss to Hamilton just plays into his second career start. But then, Goltz did relatively well in relief.
Since Hall replaced a struggling Goltz in last weekend's game and showed flashes of being able to move the offence, Burke wants to see if he can do so for the remainder of the season.
"I hope so,'' Burke said. "That would be great.''
"I look at this as a great opportunity to go out and play football and if I play well things will take care of themselves,'' Hall said.
Having newcomers Knapp and Jones on the line isn't a big concern and Hall expects fourth-year centre Justin Sorenson will help them out.
"Physically, they're both good players,'' Hall said. "They're very capable guys.
"I'll trust they'll play well. I have to. I can't worry about it. I can't look at the rush. I have to go through my reads and trust those guys will do it.''