Flight 87 should have been grounded

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:15 AM ET

In hindsight, Albert Johnson III felt he shouldn't have played Thursday night because of a nagging hamstring injury.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Doug Berry felt the same way about the receiver-returner, who dropped two passes in the first quarter of an eventual 35-23 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

"You would think that a leg injury wouldn't affect your hands, (but) he didn't have the concentration on making the catch," Berry said. "Sometimes your body reacts differently when you've got something bothering you.

"And perhaps it would have been better if he hadn't played, because you know and I know that A.J. didn't make a good impression offensively."

Johnson, who's had a strong training camp, pulled himself at half-time and admits he didn't help himself any.

"I tried to push it," he said. "I wanted to get those reps on offence, but I probably hurt myself more than I helped myself out there playing.

"But we'll see. I'll have to get healthy, then get back at it."

DECISIONS, DECISIONS: The Bombers are still carrying 73 players, but Berry is in no rush to cut a large batch of hopefuls.

"I don't anticipate any personnel moves based on this game alone," he said.

Berry might release two or three players this weekend, and he must soon decide who he's going to take to Hamilton for Friday's final pre-season game.

"There's certain guys I know have to go," he said. "And then there's other ones that we'll look at and say, 'We've gotta get more of an evaluation of player A, but we already know player B's going to make the team, so we'll leave him behind.'

"So the guys that don't travel to Hamilton are not necessarily guys that we can say, 'Well, they didn't make the team.' They may have made the team, and we just chose to leave them back here."

MAKING A MARK: Terrence Edwards was the star receiver for the Bombers on Thursday, hauling in two catches for a game-high 92 yards.

That included a 78-yard catch-and-run for a major in the second quarter.

It certainly won't hurt his chances of earning a starting import receiver spot behind Milt Stegall and Derick Armstrong.

"Every game I play I'm going to go out there and try to make plays like that when my number's called," said Edwards, a former Montreal Alouette. "The only thing I can do is seize the moment. I think I did that."

LATE HITS: Berry reported that the team's safety hopefuls -- Jason Nugent and Ian Logan -- didn't have many opportunities to show their skills Thursday night, but strong-side linebackers Chris Martin and Cam Hall played well against the run ... Berry also gave kudos to weak-side linebacker Corey Jenkins and offensive lineman Kyle Koch, who "hung in there pretty good." ... The Bombers practise once today, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Canad Inns Stadium.


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