THE Blue Bombers added import quarterback R.J. (Rush James) Archer Thursday to the group that includes Buck Pierce, Joey Elliott, Alex Brink and Justin Goltz. Also added was 6-7, 320-pound import offensive lineman James Carmon.
The 6-2, 220-pound Archer attended the Detroit Lions training camp this past summer and was released Aug. 23.
Earlier this year he played for the Georgia Force of the AFL and threw for 2,246 yards and 49 touchdowns. It is his first CFL experience.
"It's just a good chance to come up here and learn. I'm new to this (Canadian) game so there might be a bit of a learning curve there," said Archer, 25, who said he has been training on his own at his home in Jacksonville, Fla. He said he is the second Rush James in his family as he is named after his dad's uncle.
Practice rosters are allowed this month to expand from seven to 12 players so teams can evaluate new players.
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Fans won't need rose-coloured glasses when watching the 4-10 Bombers on Saturday. Both Winnipeg and Calgary Stampeders players will be wearing various pink-themed items as the game has been dedicated to support the fight against breast cancer. Fans, who are also encouraged to wear pink, will be able to purchase merchandise at the Bomber Store where 100 per cent of the sales will go to the Keeping Abreast Foundation in support of breast cancer research.
The first 25,000 fans in attendance will receive a Blue Bombers keychain.
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Head coach Tim Burke said the Bombers will play without receivers Kito Poblah (upper body) and Cory Watson (leg) and defensive linemen Bryant Turner (ankle) and Alex Hall (knee).
Rookie non-import receiver Rory Kohlert and import Kurt Adams are expected to start on offence while the defence is expected to start import J.T. Gilmore and non-import Fernand Kashama.
Veteran slotback Terrence Edwards, who did not practise on Thursday and was limping on a tender foot, is expected to play.
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The Bombers will get a chance to see how they man up against the Stampeders.
"Joey (quarterback Elliott) has done really well against zone (defence) teams. Now he's going to face a man-team. Now you have to be real accurate with the ball, you have to throw it away from the defence, you can't just check it down because those guys are covered," Burke said. "Our receivers have to beat man coverage and our offensive scheme has to be better."