T.J., as his teammates call him, pulled on his bicycle helmet, hopped on his electric moped and rolled silently out of the stadium parking lot, tweeting his horn at a couple of players as he left.
“That’s the horn?” one of them cracked.
“You need a handicap permit for that thing?” asked another.
The 22-year-old just smiled and rode off.
Life is good again for Blue Bomber receiver Terence Jeffers-Harris.
After all, he’s back playing football, hauling in passes in his first full practice in two months.
“I honestly feel bad for missing the football,” Jeffers-Harris said. “I do love to play football. And I know the fans were lovin’ me out here, and I love that they were lovin’ me out here.”
The fans weren’t the only ones.
That breeze blowing from the south, Tuesday?
It might have been the sigh of relief emanating from the club’s front office.
Probably the off-season find of rookie GM Joe Mack, Jeffers-Harris may ride a moped, but he plays like a Harley.
The way he ripped through his first four games as a pro had everybody staring. A rookie hasn’t made this much noise here since Charles Roberts burst onto the scene nearly a decade ago.
After two months of getting a bad wheel repaired, this Harley is finally out of the shop and ready to chew up some real estate.
“It feels great,” Jeffers-Harris said, taking a deep breath of fresh autumn air at the end of practice. “It felt like I was out a long time.”
Tell us about it.
The kid’s season went off the rails right about the time his team took a right turn into the ditch.
The Bombers were 2-2 when Jeffers-Harris suffered a high ankle sprain. They’re 3-9 today, with an offence that hasn’t always been in good hands, if you know what we mean.
This team needs Jeffers-Harris like a Harley needs oil. He’s Adarius Bowman, with hands.
In the first four full games he played, Jeffers-Harris was a 6-foot-2, 216-pound highlight reel, latching onto 18 passes and shedding would-be tacklers to the tune of 325 yards and three touchdowns, including 60- and 46-yarders.
At that point, he was on pace for some 80 catches, nearly 1,500 yards and more than a dozen touchdowns.
Heck, he’s still third in receiving yardage on the Bombers, despite missing all that time.
“A hell of a season — plain and simple,” Jeffers-Harris said of what might have been. “Hopefully I complete the year and get some of that back.”
Yeah, but those numbers could easily earn a guy the CFL rookie-of-the-year award and an NFL tryout.
“I know,” he said. “Who knows? I was on the (NFL) Network a couple of times. We’ll see.”
Chances are we’ll see Jeffers-Harris back in the lineup immediately.
Head coach Paul LaPolice noticed plenty of rust on the guy in his first practice, then promptly declared him probable for his team’s latest must-win game against the Lions in B.C., this weekend.
“I think he’ll be ready to go,” LaPolice said. “He’s a play maker. Just get the ball in his hands and he can make things happen.”
That’s T.J. — flashy as a Harley on the field, quiet as a scooter off it.
“It’s all electric — just plug it in and charge it up,” Jeffers-Harris said of his mode of transportation.
“I don’t need too much. I’m not a big, flashy guy. I’m really not. I just enjoy being cool.”
Oh, he’ll be cool, all right. October’s coming, after all, and his teammates are already riding him.
“They’ve got jokes: ‘You still riding your moped? You cold, yet? You know it’s gonna get cold. Don’t be ridin’ on it like dumb and dumber.’ ”
The Bombers would gladly push Jeffers-Harris to practice in a stroller if that was the only way to get him back in the lineup.
Contact Paul at email@example.com or 632-2788.