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This article was published 18/6/2018 (1033 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Mitchell Gale's extended tour of the CFL continued Monday in Winnipeg.
The 28-year-old quarterback practised with his sixth team at Investors Group Field since first arriving in the league as a free agent with the Toronto Argonauts in 2013. The Alva, Okla., product has also spent time with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Calgary Stampeders and B.C. Lions.
Gale was watching a pro rodeo in Innisfail, Alta., when he got the call from the Blue Bombers, who lost backup Alex Ross to lower-body injury during Thursday's 33-30 loss to Edmonton.
"I didn't now what was was going to happen with football, if anything was," said Gale, who was on Calgary's practice roster last season before joining the Lions as a replacement for the injured Travis Lulay. "At this point in my career, nothing really surprises me. So when it happened, I was kinda prepared for it. I was excited to join the club...
"I was still on a work permit, not knowing what was going to happen. I thought it would be best for me to still be in the country. I had a place to stay."
Ross, injured while holding for placekicker Justin Medlock on a botched field goal attempt, is expected to miss between four and six weeks of action. Gale will battle Bryan Bennett for backup duties behind current starter Chris Streveler.
"Any time you can gain experience and go through some things and you've paid attention along the way, hopefully at some point you'll be able to reach back in the bank account, so to speak, and withdraw some useful information," said Gale, noting he's never considered calling it a career. "I'm the kind of person who always thinks I can do it. Someone's going to have to tell me, very firmly, that it's over before I think it's over."
Gale, whose CFL resume is more extensive than Bennett and Streveler's combined, started three games for the Roughriders in 2016 and in 13 combined appearances went 88-for-158 for 1,050 yards, four TDs and three interceptions.
"He's been in a few different systems and he's very familiar with the CFL," said Blue Bombers head coach Mike O'Shea. "He's been around since 2013. I was with him in Toronto in 2013, so I know him personally and I know what kind of guy he is and how much he's grown as a football player. We'll bring him in and we'll see if he's in shape and (can) pick up the playbook, which I'm sure he can."
STREVELER IMPRESSES: Rookie QB Chris Streveler's pro debut wasn't perfect, but the 23 year old made a good impression under trying circumstances — not the least of which was the length of Thursday's five-hour and 42-minute lightning-delayed game.
Now, he's looking forward to his next start Friday in Montreal against the Alouettes.
"I've been through this one week — I'm not going to act like I'm a seasoned pro or anything like that," said Streveler. "It was kind of a crazy week last week, with the short week, with all the media and stuff that was going on. This week it's a normal-length week, (we) had a couple days to get our feet back under (us) and get refocused today and have a good day of practice."
Streveler said he was able to depend on injured starter Matt Nichols for some timely advice during Thursday's marathon.
"Matt's awesome," Streveler said. "I mean, since the minute I've gotten here and all the other quarterbacks have gotten here, he's been the most helpful person that he could possibly be. Especially at the game, being on the sideline and talking to him during the rain delays.
"He's always offering up suggestions, things he's seeing and, obviously, that's something I really value from a guy who's been in the league for as long as he has."
Streveler's poise under pressure got high marks from O'Shea.
"I think he's showing us the decision-making process that he went through in training camp," said O'Shea. "He's learning as the game goes on. He got better and more comfortable as the game went on... if that kind of growth can be shown again through the next few games, he's going to keep getting better and better and everybody's going to enjoy watching him."
NO CATCHES? NO PROBLEM: Adarius Bowman probably expected a more noticeable immediate impact upon his return to the Blue Bombers, but the veteran slotback had no complaints after zero catches in Week 1.
Two passes thrown his way were not close to reaching the target.
"It's part of the role, you know what I mean?" said Bowman, a high profile off-season free-agent signing. "You get it the way you want but I was proud of us being in a position, through the adversity that we had, to be in a position to win the game. So I was proud of my team and excited to be out there. Glad to be back here."
Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.