Blue Bomber Report Record: 6–10–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

O'Shea: Banks still in picture

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THE debut of Korey Banks in Winnipeg Blue Bomber colours is at least another week in the offing -- if it comes at all.

Bomber head coach Mike O'Shea said Saturday Banks -- the veteran linebacker/defensive back signed in the off-season -- will likely remain on the injured list this week when the club plays host to the Ottawa Redblacks.

The 11-year CFL veteran has had both back and hamstring issues throughout camp and was placed on the one-game injured list for the opener against the Toronto Argonauts. Just prior to Thursday's opener, TSN's Glen Suitor Tweeted that according to a source, Banks was a healthy scratch.

Asked about that speculation immediately after the game, O'Shea was vehement in his denial, saying "Glen Suitor is wrong." (Suitor said during Saturday's B.C.-Edmonton telecast he stands by his Tweet).

But rumours swirled about Banks on Friday and O'Shea was asked Saturday if the veteran defender has a future with the team.

"As of right now," he said.

The club said later it would not comment on whether the Bombers were trying to move Banks via a trade.

O'Shea added he wasn't sure he wanted to tinker with a winning lineup, knowing full well guys could pull up lame in practice leading up to Thursday's home date against Ottawa.

"I'd be hard pressed to change the roster now after what these guys did," he said. "But we'll see... the week of practices can be a long week."

Just to recap the key names on the one-game injured list, defensive back Alex Suber and running back Paris Cotton are still doubtful, while cornerback Donovan Alexander, running back Will Ford and offensive lineman Paul Swiston have returned to practice.

One addition to the injured list is slotback Cory Watson, who had two catches for 72 yards and a touchdown, but also re-injured his hamstring on his TD.

"Trust me, there's no one more frustrated than Cory," O'Shea said. "As I said before, he plays the game the way it should be played. He plays hard, 100 miles an hour. It's frustrating for him, so we're going to do what we can to help him and make sure he's ready to go."

NEW FACE IN TOWN: The Bombers have not made it official, but have added DB/kick returner Troy Stoudermire (5-10, 199, Minnesota) who finished his college career as the NCAA's all-time leader in kickoff return yards (3,615 on 144 returns). Stoudermire was in training camp with the Saskatchewan Roughriders before being released.

CELEBRATE THIS: O'Shea was asked Saturday if he had been out in public since Thursday's win over the Argos to soak up some of the good vibes.

"You mean, like the King of Kensington?" he joked, making a reference to the opening scene of the old CBC sitcom from the 1970s.

"Basically I've been in my vehicle to the house and back."

Pressed on whether he had allowed himself a celebratory beer after his first win as a head coach.

"Yes," said O'Shea with a grin. "Do you know want to know the brand? A can count? A bunch of the coaches got to sit together, (GM) Kyle (Walters) came in, some of the equipment guys... we certainly rehashed the night's events and waited for the film to get up and started watching it."

BLUE NOTES: The Bombers have added Dave Jackson, formerly of the Regina Thunder junior club, as a defensive quality control coach... The Redblacks announced their team captains on Friday: QB Henry Burris (offence); linebacker T.J. Hill (defence) and linebacker Justin Phillips (special teams).

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 29, 2014 B7

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