Presumably hoping to shore up their somewhat weak presence on the field, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers signing spree commenced this week, with two important signings in as many days.
First, they picked up Chevon Walker, who was released by the Ottawa Redblacks only a couple of days before. Reportedly, performance was not an issue with the tough running back; instead, his attitude in the locker room led to his being cut. Winnipeg jumped on the opportunity, signing him on Tuesday.
Then on Wednesday, a surprising trade: they picked up quarterback Matt Nichols from Edmonton, in exchange for… well, a conditional seventh-round draft pick, which is worth maybe a handful of nickels.
This of course means that Mike Reilly is close to, or already on, the starting roster again. Great news for Edmonton and probably good news for Nichols, as well, who has only Brian Brohm and Dominique Davis to contend with for the Bombers’ top spot. With Nichols performing creditably as a backup for Edmonton, he’s got a good shot at time on the field.
But more importantly, this shows that this team isn’t done with the season yet. With Saskatchewan all but toast, Winnipeg’s fourth place in the standings isn’t impressive; but B.C. is vulnerable. The Bombers trail the Lions by only a win, and the Labour Day home-and-home could vault Winnipeg into a playoff position.
A few weeks ago, head coach Mike O’Shea looked likely to be the first head to roll among CFL coaches. But if these moves work out, and he puts together a worthwhile offence, the ‘Peg could even be looking to host a home playoff game.
It would be an impressive turnaround after an unimpressive start. And with these new signings, Winnipeg may be aiming to impress as we head into the second half of the season.