One last chance for Bomber campers

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:23 AM ET

Vinny Sutherland summed up his situation in just two words.

"It sucks."

Now, it's not known exactly what he meant, because those were the wide receiver/kick returner's final remarks before darting off to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers locker-room.

He could have meant "it sucks" that he had to miss last Friday's first exhibition game in Edmonton because of a hamstring pull and couldn't display his talents.

He could have meant "it sucks" that he watched 16 players get cut while he was offered an olive branch of playing in tomorrow night's final exhibition game against the Eskimos at Canad Inns Stadium.

Then again, he could have meant "it sucks" that it's rained for the past two weeks.

Regardless, one of Winnipeg's highly touted off-season acquisitions appears healthy enough to make his one and only case for making Saturday's 40-man roster.

"I better do something, or it's a plane ticket home," the straight-shooting Sutherland said. "It's a job interview like any other, and if you don't interview well you don't stick around."

Sutherland, 27, admitted that his injury hasn't healed completely, but there's no way he's going to use that as an excuse.

"There's a lot of other guys in that locker-room that aren't at 100% either, so I gotta give it a go."

Bombers head coach Jim Daley said Sutherland must show off his speed when returning kicks and running routes to make an impact on the coaching staff.

"If he can be healthy for Thursday and the weeks after, he can be a very, very good football player in our league," Daley said. "So we hope to see some evidence of that."

Meanwhile, veteran linebacker Ryland Wickman has heard nothing but "Willie Fells this" and "Willie Fells that" for the past few days.

Wickman, a five-year Bombers vet, and Fells, who didn't play football last season after getting cut by the Calgary Stampeders in training camp, are competing for the starting middle linebacker job.

Fells had an awesome exhibition debut last Friday night in Edmonton, while Wickman had to leave the game because of a groin injury suffered four days before and might not be able to play tomorrow night.

Considering all the talk from Daley about jobs being won or lost in exhibition games and veterans not being safe, you'd think Wickman would be wetting his shorts.

Instead, he praised his competition. What?!

"He's doing pretty good," Wickman said of Fells. "We're both having good camps. It's good competition."

So is he worried about losing his job?

"I really try not to think about all that stuff too much," he said.


Videos

Photos