June 6, 2020

Winnipeg
5° C, Clear

Full Forecast

Help us deliver reliable news during this pandemic.

We are working tirelessly to bring you trusted information about COVID-19. Support our efforts by subscribing today.

No Thanks Subscribe

Already a subscriber?

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Bombers hopeful prepares for emotional game

Receiver to play his first game since the death of his grandmother

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 31/5/2018 (736 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Winnipeg receiver hopeful Corey Washington will be a long way from home and playing with a heavy heart when he suits up for the Blue Bombers in a pre-season CFL game against the Edmonton Eskimos tonight.

Adjusting to the game in a strange country has been mostly routine. The biggest issue for the 26-year-old from Charleston, S.C., is he is still grieving the death of his grandmother, Betty Polite.

Polite, a diabetic who raised her grandson from the time he was two years old, was 74 when she died last summer. Washington attended her funeral on Aug. 8, the same day the Kansas City Chiefs released him from their training camp roster.

"This will be my first game I played without having my grandmother since I started playing football. It’s an emotional point," he said Thursday.

The product of tiny Newberry College has made eight stops in the NFL since he signed with the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in 2014, including stints with the Washington Redskins, New York Giants, Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys.

He made a breakthrough in 2014 with the Giants, dressing for 15 games and catching five passes for 52 yards and one touchdown. But that success was fleeting and it’s been practice roster duty ever since.

Following his grandmother’s death, the 6-4, 215-pounder finally felt ready to carve out a career in Canada and he finally accepted Winnipeg’s offer prior to the 2018 season.

"I’m still dealing with it," he said.

"A year before she passed, she lost her husband, which is my granddaddy. I was still getting over that and then she left and it was crazy. I’m still an emotional wreck. I’m still going through it."

Washington has worked out mainly as a slotback, but also expects to see action as a wideout.

"It’s a great opportunity for me," he said. "It’s fun. I’m able to play football again after being out a whole year and I’m just ready to get after it. I’m glad for a second chance at football.

"Camp is going great so far. I adapted real quick and I got the terminology and everything down," Washington said. "Just ready to go out and put it out on the field."

Washington missed three days of training camp to tend to an injury, but has performed well, putting his size and athleticism on display.

"He looked good, missed a few practices and came back and looked really good," Winnipeg head coach Mike O’Shea said. "I think he got worn down a little bit and since he’s given his legs a little bit of a break, he flying again, he’s catching footballs, he’s where he’s supposed to be."

YOUTH MOVEMENT: the arrival of young Canadian receivers such as Nic Demski, Rashaun Simonise, Daniel Petermann, Drew Wolitarsky and Tylor Henry could have a lasting affect on the Winnipeg offence.

Demski and Wolitarsky are likely to begin 2018 in the starting lineup.

"I think they’re a talented group, they really are," O’Shea said. "I don’t know that they’re just competing against each other. They’re competing for a spot and playing time, they’re competing on special teams. I’m not limiting them to competing for what was called a national spot."

No. 1 quarterback Matt Nichols gave the Canucks his stamp of approval.

"Overall, I think our Canadian depth is very good," Nichols said. "A few guys we just drafted are picking it up quickly and starting to get the hang of it. They’ve come a long way since Day 1. Obviously, Drew has a great handle on the offence, being here for most of the last year. That’s obviously helped."

NOTEWORTHY: the Eskimos are bringing a youth-laden roster to Winnipeg for their second and final pre-season tilt.

Veterans such as quarterbacks Mike Reilly and Kevin Glenn, all-star defensive tackle Almondo Sewell, running back C.J. Gable, defensive back Aaron Grymes, linebackers J.C. Sherritt and Adam Konar and wide receiver Derel Walker are not expected to play.

Zach Kline, who spent most of 2017 on the practice roster, could get the start at quarterback.

mike.sawatzky@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @sawa14

Mike Sawatzky

Mike Sawatzky
Sports Reporter

Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.

To those who have made donations, thank you.

To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.

The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.

After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.

If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.

We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.

The Free Press would like to thank our readers for their patience while comments were not available on our site. We're continuing to work with our commenting software provider on issues with the platform. In the meantime, if you're not able to see comments after logging in to our site, please try refreshing the page.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us