December 13, 2019

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Harris ready to step up

<p>Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back Andrew Harris.</p>

SASHA SEFTER / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back Andrew Harris.

Andrew Harris leads the CFL in rushing with 819 yards on 128 carries through nine games — that’s a gaudy 6.4-yards-per-carry average.

He has also contributed 322 receiving yards on 45 catches to the Winnipeg offence.

But is it possible he will be asked to do even more with Blue Bombers quarterback Matt Nichols sidelined long term with an upper-body injury?

Very possible, it appears.

"Any way I’m asked to help contribute, I’m ready to step in and fill that role," Harris said following Monday’s practice.

"Again, we’ll see how it plays out, but I think having (Chris) Streveler in the game is — a lot of people think it’s going to be more on me — but I think it’s going to be, especially in that run game and run dynamic, it’s going to open things up."

Streveler’s presence may actually give Harris an extra edge in the running game.

"That dynamic is going to be more often used and it’ll definitely open things up for me a little bit," Harris said.

"They won’t be able to key so much on myself in the run game. They’ll have to worry about the quarterback and we’ve got (slotbacks) Lucky (Whitehead) and (Nic) Demski running the ball, too, so obviously, the pass game is going to be utilized as well. There’s more options."

Meanwhile, Harris also became the CFL’s all-time Canadian leader in combined yards from scrimmage during Thursday’s win at IG Field.

He rushed for 73 yards but added no receiving yards in a 32-16 win over the B.C. Lions to boost his career combined totals to 13,377 yards, passing former Montreal Alouettes receiver Ben Cahoon (13,368) for top spot.

His 8,477 career yards also passed Dave Thelen (8,463) for 10th place on the league’s all-time rushing list.

"I had some family time this weekend and got to relax and soak it in," Harris said.

"It was nice to spend it with a lot of people who helped me get to this point and share with them. It’s definitely something I’m proud of and just looking to build on it."

 

Bombers backup QB Sean McGuire.

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Bombers backup QB Sean McGuire.

JOB PROMOTION: with Nichols’ injury, rookie quarterback Sean McGuire was suddenly elevated to the No. 2 job. He said he’s prepared for whatever might come his way.

"It’s different," McGuire said.

"I think it was at Ottawa this year... that’s when Matt had a concussion or whatever and that was my first taste of it. Hadn’t felt that in years, really, since early college days. It’s a different feeling, knowing it could happen — you’re a play away. My job is to support Matt, to support Chris; and that’s what I plan on doing."

 

NOTEWORTHY: defensive end Craig Roh, defensive back Mercy Maston and offensive linemen Jermarcus Hardrick and Cody Speller were all spectators Monday.

Bombers linebacker Adam Bighill on the Edmonton Eskimos’ efficient, quick-strike offence: "I think they’ve given up three sacks. I think they threw two picks. (Quarterback) Trevor Harris has done a great job taking care of the ball."

mike.sawatzky@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @sawa14

Mike Sawatzky

Mike Sawatzky
Sports Reporter

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

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History

Updated on Monday, August 19, 2019 at 9:17 PM CDT: Adds photo

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