Bombers land big catch

Winnipeg Blue Bombers General Manager Brendan Taman will unveil his latest signing today, receiver...

Winnipeg Blue Bombers General Manager Brendan Taman will unveil his latest signing today, receiver Derick Armstrong. (Winnipeg Sun/Marcel Cretain)

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:06 AM ET

It appears Brendan Taman has caught the object of his affection.

Now he's hoping the man he courted will snag a few footballs.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers GM wouldn't confirm it last night, but former Saskatchewan Roughriders and Houston Texans receiver Derick Armstrong is slated to sign a contract today with the Blue and Gold.

Armstrong, 27, was scheduled to fly into Winnipeg last night. He is expected to be on the practice field this morning and in the starting lineup Sunday afternoon in Montreal when the Bombers (6-7) take on the Alouettes (7-5).

Taman wouldn't get into specifics last night when asked about which player he wanted to alleviate the team's desperate need for import receiving depth, especially now that wideout Chris Brazzell will miss some time with a sprained ankle.

"I'd rather have a CFL cut at this stage than an NFL cut, quite honestly," Taman said. "Now, when I say that, I'd rather have an NFL cut with CFL experience."

Armstrong fits that bill perfectly.

The 6-foot-2, 216-pound Texas native signed with the Roughriders in 2001 and appeared in 10 games, making 30 catches for 436 yards and one touchdown. He burst onto the scene in 2002, however, with 70 catches for 1,104 yards and five touchdowns and was promptly scooped up by the Texans in January 2003.

Armstrong appeared in 36 games for the Texans between 2003 and 2005, hauling in 45 balls for 605 yards and two touchdowns. The Texans released him last month, and it's believed he was being courted heavily by the Roughriders to return to Regina, which makes Winnipeg's acquisition of him a bit of a coup.

The Bombers, however, were willing to go the extra mile to secure a talent like Armstrong, because they needed it badly.

Star slotback Milt Stegall, with 65 catches for 1,074 yards and six touchdowns, has been the only real bright spot in the receiving corps this season.

Brazzell started strongly this season -- he made four catches for 181 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Edmonton in July -- but he had been suffering from a bad case of the dropsies before getting hurt in Friday's 43-9 blowout loss to the Calgary Stampeders.

Other import receivers currently on the shelf include Quentin McCord (knee), Kwame Cavil (ankle) and Henri Childs (back).

The Bombers were going to go after import receiver help anyway; Brazzell's injury just expedited the process.

"We just gotta get some guys in there that can want and have the competitive edge to make plays," Bombers head coach Doug Berry said yesterday afternoon.

Taman was also exploring the trade-route option to land a receiver, but now it's likely the CFL trading deadline will pass tonight without the Bombers making a deal.

"We tried to make a few things happen, but it wasn't going to work," Taman said.


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