MONTREAL — It was a bittersweet moment for Bombers running back Andrew Harris, who put on a show in his return only to suffer the same disappointing fate as his teammates in a nail-biting 38-37 loss to the Montreal Alouettes on Saturday.
Harris hadn’t played a game for nearly a month when he returned from a two-game suspension for a failed drug test. He looked as though he hadn’t faced the rigours of professional football, either, accounting for nearly 200 yards of offence by night’s end.
'Did he play today? I didn't think he made a play...' — Bombers RB Andrew Harris, on Als detractor John Bowman
The 32-year-old led his team in receiving with five catches for 112 yards, including a 74-yard gain off a trick play that saw Darvin Adams deliver the pass up the middle. Harris also added 76 yards on 12 carries, bringing his total yardage to 188.
"It was a great game as far as a personal game. But I got to look back at the tape and see where I could have been better to help my team win," Harris said. "Honestly, I was a little tired out there in the first quarter because I hadn’t been out there for a little bit, so there was a positive and negative there. I’m just looking forward to being back more and in a groove of things and, the loss aside, this was a solid step forward for myself."
Harris had been sidelined for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance called metandienone.
Hoping it all would be put behind him once he returned, he was reminded that he’s likely to hear more after Alouettes defensive end John Bowman labelled him a cheater the day before the game, adding if it were up to him, Harris would be out longer.
When asked to respond, Harris called Bowman’s comments "ignorant as hell."
Harris was asked if Saturday’s loss was made even more disappointing given the emotions around his failed drug test.
"I’m honestly over that s—t already. I don’t even want to talk about it anymore," he said. "At this point, it was good to be out there today and the loss was unfortunate."
Asked if he had any words for Bowman on the field, Harris delivered one final shot.
"I don’t even know. Did he play today?" Harris asked, tongue firmly in cheek. "I didn’t think he made a play, other than that last one. Good job, John."
As for Bowman, he defended his actions after the game.
"I stand behind my words. I’m never going to back down from behind my words," he said. "I want this league to be clean. I don’t care about nobody’s feelings. I play hard. If they’d have won I’d have said the same thing. We showed our resilience, heart and toughness."
After a slew of injuries playing hockey that included breaks to the wrist, arm, and collar bone; a tear of the medial collateral ligament in both knees; as well as a collapsed lung, Jeff figured it was a good idea to take his interest in sports off the ice and in to the classroom.