Bombers get Carter

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

A pair of pass defenders are hoping to overcome injury-plagued seasons when they start training camp in Winnipeg this year.

The Blue Bombers confirmed the signing of non-import safety Shawn Gallant, as previously reported, and the return of import defensive back Tim Carter yesterday.

FREAK INJURY

Gallant, 29, played only five CFL games for the Ottawa Renegades last season because he suffered a freak injury to the same knee that kept him out of 14 games the previous year. Strangely, both occurred off the field.

"I've never been hurt in a game," Gallant pointed out from his Windsor, Ont., home.

And Bomber GM Brendan Taman seemed unconcerned.

"Hopefully, that's out of his system," he said.

However, word out of Ottawa is that the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Eastern Kentucky product became disgruntled with the Renegades because he wanted to start at safety this year. But Gallant knows he will be playing behind Wes Lysack here.

"There's only three or four Canadian DBs who are pretty good, and he's one of them," Gallant said. "And I don't care what the situation is, just as long as you tell me what the situation is. And I am confident in my ability."

Taman, he added, was up front with him during the negotiations.

"He understands the situation coming in here with Wes at safety," Taman said. "But he could still be on the field a lot with some of the packages we have. He might even play some linebacker, and he's also a good special teams player."

In fact, Gallant had seven special teams tackles in those five outings last season. He played 15 games in 2002 and had 16 special teams tackles, tying linebacker John Grace for the club lead.

"It's tough to leave the guys, but it was time for a new start," said Gallant, who added that following assistant coach Dave Easley to Winnipeg made the decision easier.

Gallant was Saskatchewan's second-round draft pick back in 2000 and played all 18 games in 2001 before Ottawa chose him in the expansion draft.

ELBOW SURGERY

Meanwhile, Carter spent the entire 2004 season recovering from elbow surgery. But the Bombers then spent the winter worrying that another CFL squad would sign the free agent.

"We look forward to Carter regaining his form in the upcoming season, as he brings coverage skills with great athletic ability," Taman said. "After sitting out a whole year, that should do a lot of good for him. If he's healthy, he'll play well for us."

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Tulane University product will be expected to start at inside half. Carter, 27, had shown flashes of brilliance during seven appearances in 2003 after arriving midway through the campaign.

HASHMARKS: Two Winnipeg Minor Hockey Association bantam teams raised $2,500 from Never Alone wristband sales over the weekend, with all proceeds going to CancerCare Manitoba. The wristbands are on sale for $5 each at the Bomber office ... Football Manitoba, in conjunction with the Bombers, will conduct a coaching conference called Super Clinic 2005 on April 8 and 9 at Canad Inns-Polo Park. The registration fee is $65 until Friday and $90 after that. Teams and clubs can get group rates as well. A football specific first-aid course is also being offered. For more information, contact Football Manitoba at 925-5769.


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