Idle receiver ecstatic Bombers rang him up

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:32 AM ET

The wide receiver wondered if he would ever catch another pass for pay.

Then the Winnipeg Blue Bombers called.

"I was kind of worried there for a second," Darnell McDonald said after his first Bombers practice yesterday. "I didn't think I'd get another snag from a team so I figured my career might have been over.

"I'm so happy to be here, it's crazy. It's just like I got drafted all over again into the NFL. I'm that excited again so I'm happy that these guys are giving me another chance."

The 6-foot-3, 199-pound Kansas State product caught 67 passes for 1,002 yards and four touchdowns for Calgary in 2003. McDonald then signed with Montreal as a free agent and spent time on the practice roster due to a knee injury last season. But after suffering a minor hamstring pull during training camp, McDonald refused to go on the injury list and the Alouettes released him. He has been waiting by the phone in Virginia since, concerned that teams might think he was still hurt.

McDonald, 29, was welcomed by a number of former Stampeder teammates in the Winnipeg locker-room.

"That was kind of surprising to see a couple of familiar faces and it makes it a lot easier, too," he said.

But it did strike him as strange that he is essentially replacing former teammate Wane McGarity here.

"That's a shock to me because he's a great ball player and I can vouch for that because I played with him," McDonald said.

FRAME IN PICTURE: The Bombers also added former Toronto Argonaut offensive lineman Danny Frame to their practice roster.

"He'd been on our radar for quite some time," club GM Brendan Taman said of the 6-foot-1, 310-pound Canadian. "And with all the Canadian O-linemen going down around the league, we didn't want to risk losing him."

DB SHUFFLE: Bombers DB Cedric Dickerson said his hand injury (broken bone) is not as bad as first feared but will see a specialist this week to determine just how bad it is. The Bombers still plan to bring in another DB next week. But it won't be Santino Hall, who was just cut by Saskatchewan, Taman said. Hall apparently plans to try his NFL luck again. Taman may also bring in another receiver next week.

LB SHUFFLE: Daley is toying with the idea of dressing four import LBs against Calgary to both help stop the run and to shore up special teams, he said. So both Ryland Wickman and Lamar McGriggs, two of the team's better tacklers, could dress.

HASHMARKS: OL Mike Abou-Mechrek, who stayed over after Monday's game, missed yesterday's practice because his flight out of Toronto was held up after Tuesday's plane crash there. Although both S John Sullivan and OL Cory Annett were also held up in T.O., they made it to practice just a few minutes late ... CB William Fields had permission to miss practice while he was checking into some family immigration problems, Taman said ... Both DBs Justin Coleman (foot) and Boyd Barrett (cramps) practised yesterday.


Videos

Photos