Corey Jenkins is going to remember his inaugural Labour Day Classic for all the wrong reasons.
The first-year Winnipeg linebacker was flagged three times while recording just two defensive tackles during the 31-26 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. And, according to the coaches, he missed an assignment on Kerry Joseph's quarterback draw that resulted in the winning 27-yard touchdown in the dying seconds.
To observers in the locker-room after the match, Jenkins looked crestfallen.
"I wasn't really down on myself, I was just disappointed at the loss," Jenkins said yesterday. "We all feel like we could have played a little bit better but we didn't play bad football. We just had a couple of plays here or there where we either have to make a play or we just have to make something happen. But that's the game of football. We'll just have to bounce back and see how it goes next Sunday."
Winnipeg plays host to the Roughies in a CFL rematch this Sunday.
Jenkins, 31, sat out most of yesterday's practice nursing a sore knee, leading to speculation he might get benched Sunday. If he does, it will be because of those flags and that blown assignment.
"I don't see it as being my fault," Jenkins said. "If you put fault in the one play and say that one play cost us the game, then that's not a team effort. I don't see anybody saying, 'OK, that was your fault on that play, that's why we lost.' If they want to say (that), then what can I say?
"There's nothing I can do about it. It happened, it's over with but we went back and watched the film and it is what it is."
But the 6-foot-1, 219-pound South Carolina product was still scratching his head over the two roughing-the-passer infractions he took.
"It's hard. I mean, the no-step rule," he said. "The first play of the game, I felt that was clean. There was no way I could have pulled off that or pulled up. I mean, that sort of takes your aggression away towards the quarterback. You can't really get to him. It's not them, that's just the rules.
"The second one, my hand hit him in the head. I mean, I'm airborne and I'm coming down. It's not like I'm trying to hit him in the face on purpose or anything. I can see if it's blatant roughing the passer just trying to do him wrong ... It's just tough because you can't be aggressive towards those guys. It's hard as a defender because your first goal is to get after the quarterback on offence. If you disrupt the quarterback, then you disrupt the offence. It's kind of hard to do when you can't really get at them the way you want to."
But blowing the lead so late in the game will just make the Bombers more determined Sunday.
"Nobody's lost any confidence," Jenkins said. "We know what type of football we played and we know what type of football they played and we know it's going to be a dogfight either way you look at it ... It came down to the wire and unfortunately for us, they made more plays than we did. So, we'll play them Sunday and we'll see what happens."