The veteran linebacker who has wondered aloud about his pro football future in Winnipeg was a sudden scratch yesterday.
Import linebacker Lamar McGriggs will not make to trip to Montreal where the Blue Bombers play the Alouettes in a CFL match tomorrow. He will be replaced by import receiver Darnell McDonald on the roster. The move was apparently necessitated when non-import receiver Gilles Colon aggravated a hip flexor at Thursday's practice and is not the start of roster experiments as Winnipeg's woeful season winds down.
"No, it's a matter of getting our healthiest roster on the field to go play great football in Montreal," head coach Jim Daley countered.
Although McGriggs apparently has a slightly twisted ankle, he could play through it, Daley readily admitted.
"Lamar's play made it hard to take him off," Daley claimed. "He's actually had one of his best months since I've been here. The last three-four games, he's been outstanding in terms of his special teams play and last week, he was particularly good in Ottawa on defence. So, it is a significant loss to take Lamar off."
McGriggs left the building before yesterday's media availability. Ron Ockimey will start in his place.
McDonald, meanwhile, was overjoyed.
"It's going to be real good for me because I've got issues with them," said the former Alouette, still rankled with the way Montreal handled him. "So, it would be good for me to do anything to help my team win, that would make me feel real good.
"They didn't do me right before I left there so hopefully, we can win this one so I can rub it in."
BARRETT BACK: In other moves, DB Boyd Barrett will replace a healthy LB Scott Mennie while DL Doug Brown replaces Colon on the roster.
"I've got that wolverine healing power," said Barrett. "My (turf) toe feels better and it's Montreal so it's a big game for us, and I'm ready to go."
FANTASY FULFILLED: Recently, three Bombers helped a young fan fulfill a lifelong dream. Michael Koch, who lost both arms after an incident involving a hydro wire as a child, contacted club receptionist Carol Fossay to ask if he could kick a field goal at Canad Inns Stadium. So, placekicker Troy Westwood, holder Jamie Stoddard and snapper Chris Cvetkovich stayed after practice one day to allow Koch, 29, to realize that fantasy.
"It's obvious, field goal kicking is the most exciting aspect in all sports," Westwood joked. "It's actually a cool experience to come out on to the field and see the stands and everything.
"He was a nice young kid and did pretty well. He kicked a couple of 20-yarders. He has some potential and might be in training camp next year, who knows?"