Not many happy returns

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:09 AM ET

Winnipeg's Albert Johnson III has had better nights returning kicks.

And after the Blue Bomber fumbled the football into the hands of the Alouettes at his own six, Johnson suffered the indignity of being replaced on the punt return team.

"I'm not frustrated, man, just disappointed in myself just knowing what I'm capable of," said Johnson, who returned eight punts for 35 yards in the 44-16 loss to Montreal.

And the bobble was uncharacteristic.

"It was bad and not typical of me at all," said Johnson, who led the CFL in combined yardage back in 2000, but is still trying to rekindle that magic. "I was just trying to do too much and I lost concentration and you can't do that in a game -- especially a big game like that -- in crucial situations."

Johnson, however, will be back fielding punts and kickoffs when the Bombers play the Eskimos in Edmonton in their next CFL match on Thursday.

INFRACTIONS FRUSTRATING

Of course, it does not help Johnson's cause when there is some kind of penalty called on just about every return. And those infractions are frustrating head coaches across the CFL.

"That's one of the areas where a lot of teams are having trouble and the officials are calling it pretty close," said Winnipeg head knock Doug Berry. "We're trying very hard and the guys we're asking to do it, it's drilled into their heads how important this is not to do it. We will get a five-yard return if they don't block anybody because they have to give us five yards and we can fall forward five yards."

RUSS RETURNS: With backup QB Mike Quinn (sternum) out, the Bombers welcomed back Russ Michna, a final cut in training camp.

"I was in Chicago just kind of relaxing on a Sunday afternoon, everything changes real quick," Michna said of the Bomber call. "We had actually been talking to a few teams and were hoping that something was going to get done, and this ended up being the most urgent.

"It didn't feel like I missed a beat seeing all these fools again so, it's nice to be back for now."

HASHMARKS: Bombers plan to bring in two offensive linemen after Thursday's game and speculation is that ex-Lion import OL Belton Johnson, a 6-foot-6, 310-pound Mississippi product, will be one of them. Bombers were still trying to contact former Leo OL Carl Gourgues yesterday ... RB/SB Henri Childs will play this week ... Both CB Omar Evans (groin) and DL Ron Warner (knee) are expected to return this week ... Although Bomber DB Anthony Malbrough had an ankle problem during yesterday's practice, he is OK.


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