LESS than a week ago, Ryan Lucas was working as a personal trainer and not even watching football, never mind playing it.
The 6-5 defensive lineman, one of the last cuts in the 2012 training camp, was called back last week to join the Blue Bombers' practice roster. He arrived in Winnipeg on Sunday and practised on Tuesday for the first time.
"I was kind of focusing on other things, giving football a break, just moving on to some other things. Football wasn't my main focus anymore but now it is again," said Lucas, 28. Last season he played with both the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Montreal Alouettes. In 2010 with Saskatchewan, he played in all three playoff games including the 98th Grey Cup.
He said he had begun training for his first half-marathon, which he was going to run in December, but that's off the table now as he needs to keep weight on. He said he weighs 270, down 20 pounds from training camp.
Bombers duo honoured
WINNIPEG Blue Bombers running back Chad Simpson and linebacker Henoc Muamba were named the Canadian Football League's offensive and Canadian players of the week, respectively, after their performances in last Friday's 34-12 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Canad Inns Stadium.
Simpson had his first CFL career 100-yard rushing game with 19 carries for 134 yard. He had four catches for 58 yards, which gave him a career-high 192 combined yards for the game. It is the first player-of-the week award for Simpson, who is fourth in CFL rushing with 682 yards.
Muamba, Winnipeg's first overall pick in the 2011 CFL Draft who took over the starting middle linebacker job in week eight, had a huge night for the Bombers. He had five defensive tackles, one pass knockdown, one sack and forced a fumble. He has a league-leading five forced fumbles this season, which puts him one back of Winipeg's single-season record of six, held by Daved Benefield.
Buck takes command
BOMBERS quarterback Buck Pierce may be a gunslinger but he's no freelancer.
Bombers head coach Tim Burke said Pierce used his extensive on-field experience to communicate with offensive co-ordinator Gary Crowton regarding the play-calling in last Friday's 34-12 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
"There were about four times in the game where he wanted another play so Gary gave him a different play," Burke said. "It's kind of like a baseball pitcher waving off the call from the catcher. It's one of those things that he didn't feel good about it at that point in the game. There's some plays where we give him (Pierce) a choice to change the play so he did that a couple of times. Pretty much he stuck with what Gary had him do."
Slotback Terrence Edwards, left tackle Glenn January and cornerback Johnny Sears did not practice. Blue Bombers head coach Time Burke said all there were just resting bumps and bruises. All three are expected back on Wednesday.
Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce, who played in last Friday's 34-12 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for the first time in eight games since suffering a tendon injury in his left foot, said the foot is a work in progress. "It's sore. Like coach said, it's going to be sore for the rest of the way out."