Winnipeg – Troy Stoudermire was the Winnipeg Blue Bombers primary kick returner in 2015 but despite his obvious athletic gifts, the Bombers decided to released Stoudermire in the off-season largely because of his propensity to put the ball on the ground and spend too much time running East and West as opposed to North and South. That opened the door for someone to emerge as the clubs primary kick returner in 2016 and with the first pre-season game looming on Wednesday night, the identity of Stoudermire’s replacement is very much uncertain.
Justin Veltung showed flashes of return ability during the handful of games he played as a Bomber rookie in 2015. And the 24-year old University of Idaho product will get his opportunity to return kicks during the two pre-season games. So will Quincy McDuffie, who has spent the past 2 years with the Hamilton Tiger Cats. McDuffie has trouble breaking into the Ticats return rotation due to the prescence of someone named Brandon Banks. He was also plagued by injuries before signing as a free agent with the Blue bombers in January. In the one game he did play in a Hamilton uniform, McDuffie had a punt return for a touchdown–against the Blue Bombers. McDuffie had a sensational career as a kick returner at Central Florida and, like Veltung, he is a prime candidate, perhaps the prime candidate to handle those duties with the Blue and Gold. And, not to be ruled out is Carlos Anderson, who has been one of the feel good stories of Blue Bomber camp. Anderson appeared to be a lock to make the Bombers last year before blowing out his knee in the second pre-season game. Anderson is back, fully recovered, and has had an excellent training camp as a running back.
There is no question about who will do the kicking for the Bombers this season. Justin Medlock has that all locked up. Who will return kicks for Winnipeg is still very much up in the air. The two upcoming pre-season games will sort that out.