Mike O’Shea is reluctant to use the word "yoga."
But if it cobras like yoga and downward-dogs like yoga, it’s yoga. And the contortions the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have been doing after practice lately sure looks an awful lot like an ancient practice that is becoming increasingly common among professional athletes.
O’Shea said following practice Wednesday that he asked Bombers linebacker Ian Wild -- a yoga enthusiast -- to lead the team in stretching after practice in hopes of preventing what have been a large number of muscle pulls in this year’s training camp.
"It does concern me because I’m responsible for player safety too," said O’Shea. "So yes, I’ve asked Ian to lead a stretch. If you see Ian, he’s a professional. Ian does things the right way. And not just on the field -- he does everything around the game professionally. So he’s a good influence...
"It’s a response. What I noticed was there weren’t enough guys stretching after practice. So if they’re not taking it upon themselves to do what I think is the right thing, then I’m going to coach them to do the right thing... And what better way than to have a guy who stretches after practice everyday and seems to be in great shape and well respected.
"It’s some form of yoga, I don’t know... It’s stretching."
Meanwhile, Bombers offensive tackle Jarvis Jones was new in sick bay at practice at Investors Group Field this morning, but there was nothing wrong with Jones’s muscles -- O’Shea said he was sick.
O’Shea also reported that rookie import running back Paris Cotton has a "tweaked" knee and will need a few weeks to recover. To replace Cotton on the depth chart, the Bombers on Wednesday brought in import RB Kyle Bolton, whose previous claim to fame was he caught passes from Johnny Manziel on Manziel’s recent ‘Pro Day.’
The Bombers also on Wednesday added non-import linebacker Mike Cornell and import receiver Mark Dell.
Cornell spent the last three seasons on special teams with the Edmonton Eskimos and helps to fill the void created by the loss of Graig Newman, who suffered a potentially season-ending ankle injury in Calgary last weekend.
Dell switches places on the roster with another import receiver in Jason Barnes, who was released on Wednesday.
- Quick Hits -- The online gambling site bodog.ca on Wednesday proclaimed the Bombers the second-longest shot on the board to win this year’s Grey Cup at 12-1, behind only the expansion Ottawa Redblacks at 18-1... The BC Lions are the favourite at 15-4, followed by the Calgary Stampeders and Saskatchewan Roughriders at 4-1.