Winnipeg – Winnipeg Blue Bombers returned to practice Tuesday in drizzly, cloudy and windy plus 2 degree weather conditions with defensive back Bruce Johnson and receiver Tori Gurley fully active participants. For Gurley, it was his first time on the practice field after being signed last week, and the 6-4, 220 pound South Carolina product said he is enthused about this new beginning. Released by the Argos 8 days ago.
“There were things that were going on that the coaches didn’t like and it was their decision to make. All in all, it’s part of the business. I’m very thankful to get my first start with the Argos and I’m even more thankful now to be a Winnipeg Blue Bomber,” said Gurley. He added that “it’s very exciting to be playing meaningful football at this time of year. The Blue Bomber fans are crazy. I had a hot dog during the game the other day and it was fantastic. I grabbed it during the game at halftime. Shout out to the guy at the hot dog stand. He was just a great person.”
Gurley says he doesn’t care whether he lines up at slotback or wide receiver. “I play everywhere. Wherever the coach needs me to play. Whenever you are around a team that is this special, I just want to be a part of it. If they need me to feed the team hot dogs or water or whatever, I’m all for it. I am going to go out here and work hard every day and let the skill set that God blessed me with, let it show.” Gurley added ” I have a huge chip on my shoulder. I’m a competitor first and foremost. Whenever someone tells me I’m not good enough to play for a team I take that personally. This is my opportunity to come out here and prove that I am worthy of playing on a team.”
Head coach Mike O’Shea said he wasn’t sure if Gurley would be in the lineup Friday when the Bombers visit the B.C. Lions in a rematch. But one man who definitely won’t be is defensive back Bruce Johnson. Johnson has one game left to serve on a 2-game suspension for violating the CFL’s drug policy, and on Tuesday he spoke publicly for the first time.
“I’m very apologetic about all this. I’ve talked to my coaches, my teammates and we are all on one accord, just trying to move on. It was unintentional. You gotta be cognizant of what you put in your body around here and who you hang around and things that you do,” said Johnson. Johnson said he was humbled by the support of his coaches and teammates. “It means a lot, they got my back, they didn’t just throw me out to the wolves, they are very supportive and I’ve been talking with a lot of guys and everybody is just getting through this with me. You can always learn from this, it’s in the past for me, I’m just ready to move forward,” he added.
O’shea listed linebackers Moe Leggett and Ian Wild as questionable for the B.C. rematch. Leggett hurt his knee in Saturday’s 37-35 win while Wild missed the game with a shoulder problem.