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Matt Nichols to stay on the sidelines for Blue Bombers’ exhibition opener

Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Matt Nichols completes a throw in training camp. Jordan Pearn / Global News

Winnipeg Blue Bombers starting quarterback Matt Nichols will dress on Friday, but he won’t see a single snap.

The Bombers are opting to keep their number one quarterback on the sidelines for their first pre-season game on Friday against the Edmonton Eskimos.

“I’ll go through my normal pre-game routine and kind of get all those game day feelings, and you know, what I do to get ready for a game,” Nichols said.

“I plan on dressing and going through all the pre-game warm-ups, all that stuff. I just won’t be taking any snaps in the game.”

Typically, teams use their starting quarterback sparingly in their lone pre-season game on home field. Nichols has appeared in their first exhibition game in each of the last three years.

“If I played in this one and then you take a couple weeks off, I mean, how much good does that really do for you?” Nichols said.

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“And I think it’ll just feel more natural to play in the second one and then wherever it is, six, seven days later playing week one, and kind of get a rhythm going that way.”

WATCH: Raw Matt Nichols Interview – May 30

Click to play video: 'RAW: Blue Bombers Matt Nichols Interview – May 30' RAW: Blue Bombers Matt Nichols Interview – May 30
RAW: Blue Bombers Matt Nichols Interview – May 30 – May 30, 2019

With Nichols relegated to the role of coach and cheerleader, Chris Streveler will get the start at quarterback. But he probably won’t get many reps either as head coach Mike O’Shea and his coaching staff want to take a good look at their their two quarterbacks in camp in Bryan Bennett and Sean McGuire.

“As we talked about this over and over again, there’s still quite a bit evaluation to do further down the line in the quarterback position,” O’Shea said. “So we want to give guys as much opportunity as possible. And I don’t… feel that Matt really needs that just yet.”

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READ MORE: Winnipeg Blue Bombers gearing up for 1st exhibition game

The Bombers are sitting a number of key contributors on Friday. Receivers Chris Matthews, Nic Demski and Corey Washington will all get the night off. Former Manitoba Bisons linebackers DJ Lalama and Thomas Miles will also not be suiting up. Offensive linemen Pat Neufeld and Jermarcus Hardrick, along with defensive back Winston Rose, will also be on the sidelines.

“I think… we’ve got some pretty good team speed on the offensive side of the ball, and a lot of these guys are very exciting with the ball in their hands. So we got to make sure that we give them as much opportunity as possible to showcase that.”

WATCH: Raw Mike O’Shea Interview – May 30

Click to play video: 'RAW: Blue Bombers Mike O’Shea Media Briefing – May 30' RAW: Blue Bombers Mike O’Shea Media Briefing – May 30
RAW: Blue Bombers Mike O’Shea Media Briefing – May 30 – May 30, 2019

The Eskimos are planning on leaving most of their big name players back home including starting QB Trevor Harris.

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READ MORE: Ed Tait’s “Five Things You Should Know” about Friday’s Blue Bomber Game

Kickoff on Friday is at 7:30 pm at IG Field.

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