The Winnipeg Drama Club

Season just one week old, Blue lead CFL in twists, subplots

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If the Winnipeg Blue Bombers were a made-for-TV reality show, they'd be soaring up in the ratings.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 05/07/2009 (4782 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

If the Winnipeg Blue Bombers were a made-for-TV reality show, they’d be soaring up in the ratings.

Yes, the local footballers may be 0-1 after last week’s loss to the Edmonton Eskimos, but they are No. 1 with a bullet when it comes to providing the drama, juicy subplots and surprise twists normally reserved for a daytime soap.

All-star defensive tackle Doug Brown is back in Winnipeg — not still in Edmonton as has been insinuated by the club — while receiver Derick Armstrong is expected to be on the practice field today. Armstrong dressed but refused to play against the Eskimos when told he wouldn’t be starting — a stunt which, not surprisingly, has prompted rumours across the CFL the Bombers will now try to trade him.

Graham Hughes / the canadian press archives Bomber receiver Derick Armstrong's refusal to play Thursday has the rumour mill heating up. It is said the Blue might try to deal him.

First, an update on Brown, who had been battling a viral infection last week but accompanied the team to Edmonton when his health started to improve. On game day his condition worsened and he was a late scratch, forcing the Bombers to dress just 41 players — one less than a full roster.

"I’ve turned the corner and am progressing… they actually know what’s wrong with me now and that’s cool," said Brown Saturday afternoon. "Eventually I’ll be able to share that with everyone but for now I’ve been expressly told by the club not to comment on my injury or illness status. I can say it’s nothing life-threatening or career-ending.

"I hope to play this week, but we’ll still have to see what happens. None of this has been my determination, let’s put it that way. It’s been out of my hands for awhile."

mike.deal@freepress.mb.ca / archives The Bombers are being very secretive about Doug Brown's illness.

Rookie Donald Oramasionwu started in Brown’s place alongside Dorian Smith — who was filling in for Tyrone Williams — and managed two tackles and a sack. Williams, along with cornerback James Johnson, spent last week on the one-game injured list and will be evaluated today when the team returns to work. Both could be in the lineup for Friday’s home opener against the Calgary Stampeders.

The status of linebacker Joe Lobendahn (bruised shoulder) for the home opener is a day-to-day deal.

Asked Saturday if he felt the issue with Armstrong was now resolved, head coach Mike Kelly said simply, "Yes." He also indicated Armstrong will be back on the practice field today.

"It’s still a story for you guys, it’s not for me," said Kelly. "Have fun with it. Go ahead."

ALL FINGERS POINT TO… Kelly, for the third straight day, jumped on a sword for his team’s performance in Edmonton.

"Any time we lose it’s my fault," he said. "I’m talking about my preparation of the players during the week. It’s everything. If our players don’t perform up to a level where they can succeed then it’s my fault, it’s on me. I’m the one that is ultimately responsible for how we play out there.

"So, I have to do a better job each and every week of putting our players in position to improve, to be successful and to get better. Last week I failed at that, so we go back to work this week and try to evaluate and re-evaluate what we did a week ago and make our team better.

"I’m not worried as much about opponents as I am about getting our team better."

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

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