Heavy traffic for receivers

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:24 AM ET

The battle for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' fourth wide receiver position is going to be a doozy.

This comes even after second-year receiver Derrick Smith was released late Monday night.

Non-imports Jamie Stoddard and Gilles Colon, along with imports Elgin Hicks, Vinny Sutherland and newcomer Scott Cloman, will fight it out tomorrow night when the Bombers battle the Edmonton Eskimos at Canad Inns Stadium.

It will be the final pre-season CFL game for both clubs. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Coincidentally, Edmonton cut the 6-foot-3, 214-pound Cloman late Monday night, but he was on the field at Canad Inns Stadium yesterday for the final 25 minutes of Winnipeg's practice.

Bombers GM Brendan Taman has been after the Compton, Calif., native for years, and it didn't hurt that Winnipeg quarterback Tee Martin is Cloman's close friend from their days with the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe.

In fact, Martin alerted Taman that Cloman had been cut.

"Cloman changes us totally, because he's a 6-3 kind of guy with range and speed," Taman said. "He's an interesting guy. Edmonton just had a good (receiving) corps. They couldn't keep everybody."

The Bombers plan to make roster room for Cloman to play tomorrow night. Milt Stegall, Wane McGarity and Kamau Peterson have locks on the other three receiving spots, so the five aforementioned pass catchers had better perform against the Eskimos if they want regular work.

"(The battle) got a little tougher today," Taman said. "I didn't expect it to, to be honest with you, but it happened quick."

Cloman has had cups of coffee with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins.

ROSTER MOVES: As mentioned, the Bombers cut WR Derrick Smith and also put S John Sullivan and LB/LS Michel Dupuis on the inactive list to get down to the 50-player roster limit late Monday night.

Sullivan and Dupuis will be back with the club soon, but Smith, who had 35 catches for 556 yards and one touchdown in 10 games last season, is gone.

"It's too bad. He's a good kid," Taman said. "We've toyed with the idea of going with two Canadians, and then Vinny and Elgin needed a lot of work this game, because Vinny's healthy, so he's going to see some time.

"So with Derrick, it just didn't quite add up to him making it. He's a good player, though."


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