There's a good chance the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will be eliminated from CFL post-season contention tonight.
The Bombers (5-10) are hanging by a piece of floss in the playoff race, but a Calgary win over Hamilton this evening would send them plummeting into the abyss of a second straight winter without a playoff game.
And that makes yesterday's addition of three new players to the Bombers fitting, because their 2006 training camp likely will begin tomorrow.
GM Brendan Taman signed a pair of former NFLers -- defensive halfback Ike Charlton and receiver Michael Coleman -- along with former Ottawa Renegades offensive lineman Marc Parenteau.
The most intriguing prospect of the three is Charlton, a 6-foot, 205-pounder who appeared in 54 NFL games between 2000 and 2003.
He started two games for Seattle in 2001 and two more for the New York Giants in 2003. He had two interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown, with the Seahawks in 2001.
Before Bomber fans get too excited, however, Taman isn't expecting Charlton to come in and knock his socks off right away. The GM just wants him to get accustomed to the CFL game, and then they'll go from there.
"He's a pretty good prospect," Taman said. "He's a good solid player who could become one of our top five Americans DBs -- in time."
Charlton, whom the Seahawks selected in the second round of the 2000 NFL draft, is confident he can make a mark in the CFL.
"It's something that I'm looking forward to," he said. "It's just a challenge, and I live for challenges.
"I love putting that pressure on me. Am I going to step up? I think I will."
Bombers head coach Jim Daley is intrigued by Charlton because he played dimeback (the extra inside DB) in the NFL. That means he should have a better understanding of how to play halfback in the CFL.
"He could be a quick study as far as making the transition to the CFL game," Daley said.
The only way Charlton would play Sunday afternoon at Canad Inns Stadium against the Toronto Argonauts (8-6) is if newcomer Anthony Malbrough, acquired Oct. 3 from the Calgary Stampeders, isn't healthy enough.
But Malbrough took several reps at practice yesterday, so it appears he'll be ready to go.
In fact, Taman said Charlton wouldn't even be in Winnipeg if Santino Hall hadn't torn his ACL in Monday's win over B.C. and if Syniker Taylor hadn't gone home to Mississippi for the rest of the season to help his mom deal with hurricane damage.
It doesn't mean, however, that he's just filling in. Taman knows the defence must be a lot better in 2006, and Charlton's addition is part of the process.
"We started when we brought (linebacker Joe) Tuipala in (two weeks ago)," Taman said. "It's a sign that, yeah, we'll look at some different options."