- -Blasted by a "freak" injury right after he'd healed from another, defensive back Johnny Sears Jr. watched this season scrape by from the sidelines.
It was every competitor's nightmare, but Sears tried to keep his chin up. "It ate me up, man," the defensive back said after practice on Thursday. "Me feeling like I could be one of the prime players to help the team win, and not being able to do anything but yell stuff from the sideline and help in the meeting room. It only does so much. But I tried to keep things moving forward and keep a positive attitude so they could feed off that."
Now, it's official: with Demond Washington out with an injury of his own, Sears is getting back in. Although he's been healthy the last two weeks, he waited until he felt fully confident after reviewing film of his reps to come off the nine-game injured list, he said. He'll figure in at boundary cornerback, a position he played a handful of times last season, including both games against the Stampeders.
- If a football curse can play on a team's confidence, it helps if the team's key cogs don't know about it. Well, until media tells them. "What's the curse?" pivot Max Hall asked, quizzically. When told the Bombers haven't won in Calgary since 2002, he joked maybe the roster turnover means maybe the cursed players are gone. "We got all the right people in, let's see if that turns things around," he quipped.
Offensive lineman Glenn January wasn't surprised to hear Hall didn't know what he was up against, where the football gods are concerned. "Max probably didn't even know where Calgary is, so let's think about that for a little while," he joked of Hall, a newcomer to the Canadian game.
But seriously, though. "I don't think there's any magic potion to what (the Stampeders) are doing," January said. "They've had really good teams, I think that's probably been the biggest factor in the equation... (the record in Calgary) really doesn't have too much of a bearing on our potential of victory this week."
- The Stampeders have a mean defensive front four with defensive ends Charleston Hughes and Cordarro Law racking up 23 sacks between them this year. They are also a chirpy bunch, January confirmed, noting he's gotten to know the Stamps' defensive line characters "in the heat of battle." Not that they get him rattled, anymore. "You just have to block it out and keep playing the game you've been playing since you were a little kid," he said. "It has very little effect on me. I've been at this for awhile now and I've heard it all and seen it all."