Return game could get boost

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:45 PM ET

A former Scarlet Knight could come riding to the rescue of Winnipeg's kick return game.

Rutgers star Willie Foster, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound speedster, will likely make his CFL debut when the Blue Bombers play the Stampeders on Sunday.

"Everyone has to cut rosters down and, as long as we still have Willie Foster here, this would be the last opportunity, really, to get a look at him -- unless we find a way to keep him here in the future," Bomber head coach Doug Berry explained yesterday.

But that does not mean Berry has become disillusioned with current kick returner Albert Johnson III.

"If we were to find somebody that's Superman out there, then maybe we'll give someone a chance to do that," he said. "I'm not saying I'm totally dissatisfied with AJ. (Johnson). I'm not. But I would be willing to give somebody else a look."

Although Berry would not say how he would get Foster on the roster, one scenario could have Johnson replacing injured wide receiver Derick Armstrong (calf) with Foster replacing Johnson as a designated import. Berry, however, said Armstrong is likely to play.

TROY STILL OUT: Since Berry was pleased with the play of Rob Pikula and is planning to dress two backup offensive linemen again, placekicker Troy Westwood will be a healthy scratch for the second straight match. Pikula had almost a perfect game punting the ball against B.C.

"It was good," said Pikula. "Kicking into the wind, you've got to battle that and I figure I did that pretty well just by driving the ball into it. When we got down to their end, we were too far for a couple of field goals so, my job was to pin them deep in their end. I did that so, it was all we really needed to do."

Pikula had suffered a mild concussion the week before and Lions head coach/GM Wally Buono had suggested that the Bombers were risking further injury to the kicker by playing him. But Berry was laughing about it yesterday.

"I didn't go to the same med school (as Buono)," he said. "I was joking with Wally about that. He didn't mean anything by that. It's just that you say something and it's how it's interpreted."

It actually seemed pretty straightforward to those of us who heard it.

HASHMARKS: Bomber CB Juran Bolden was limping noticeably towards the end of yesterday's practice and sat out the last few drills. "My foot's a little sore," said the veteran. "Just old man's syndrome" ... DE Gavin Walls (finger) may be ready to return this week after sitting out last Friday ... DL Jerome Haywood (biceps) will likely need another week ... Although OL Dan Goodspeed missed yesterday's practice to return home for a funeral, he is expected back today ... Bombers pared down their practice roster by releasing LB Corey Jenkins, DB Art Thomas, OL Riley Clayton and, apparently, WR Adam Eckert.

AROUND CFL: Calgary cut QB Akili Smith yesterday as QB Henry Burris returns from injury (left shoulder) against the Bombers this Sunday. "I definitely feel I can go," Burris told Calgary reporters ... Montreal has signed QB Anthony Calvillo to a one-year contract extension ... Calgary KR and former Bomber Markus Howell was named the CFL's top Canadian of the week, and the runner-up to Toronto kick returner Dominique Dorsey (another former Bomber) as the best special teams player last week ... Montreal WR Kerry Watkins (offensive) and Toronto DB Byron Parker (defence) got the nods in the other categories.


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