Bombers scoop up Armstead

DEREK JORY AND JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:14 PM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers could have one of the CFL's most dangerous kick returners on the roster as soon as this week.

Wide receiver/kick returner Jason Armstead, who was recently released by Montreal, is already in Winnipeg, Bombers GM Brendan Taman confirmed yesterday and his status for Thursday's game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will likely be determined today.

Not only could the 5-foot-10, 160-pound speedster boost the club's anemic return game, he can add depth to an injury-plagued receiving corps as both Derick Armstrong and Milt Stegall were sidelined during yesterday's practice.

Armstead, 28, had a career 9.7-yard punt-return average and an 18.7-yard kickoff when the current campaign began.

CHERISH THE MOMENT: Neither Aaron Hargreaves nor Casey McGahee had a statistical game to remember against the Montreal Alouettes, but they'll still both cherish it regardless.

It was the pair's first taste of CFL action.

With Terrence Edwards and Milt Stegall out because of injury, Hargreaves filled in at receiver, while McGahee returned kicks and punts in an attempt to breathe some life into a lowly aspect of Winnipeg's special teams.

For both rookies it was an exciting experience, one they hope becomes a weekly thing.

"It was something I've been looking forward to for a long time, throughout my whole college career," said Hargreaves.

"It was something I was really striving for so to finally get out there and get to play and show them what I can do was a great feeling."

"I was a little bit nervous," said McGahee, "because it was my first time, but it was nice getting my feet wet. Hopefully if I get another chance I'll be able to use the experience I got last game and maybe do a little better."

Hargreaves worked himself into the offence nicely, using his 6-foot-5, 234-pound frame to his advantage. He caught two passes for 53 yards, which was second in receiving for the Bombers, his first was a nifty 14 yard catch, his second an impressive 39 yard catch and run and both plays impressed Winnipeg coach Doug Berry quite a bit.

"He made great catches and was able to run after the catch, which is something that you're looking for, and he caught the ball on the inside so it wasn't like just catching the ball on the edge where there's no linebackers waiting to take him out," said Berry.

McGahee, meanwhile, didn't look overly great, but he was far from bad as he split the kick return duties with Jovon Johnson and Neil McKinlay.

The rookie rumbled for 61 yards on three kick returns, an average of 20.3, but that fell to 9.7 yards per carry on punt returns. McGahee could only muster a total of 29 yards off three punts.

Neither player has heard whether they will factor into the equation this week for the Bombers or not, but they're both raring to go if called upon.

PICARD'S PRESENCE: Offensive lineman Dominic Picard, who hasn't played since suffering a high ankle sprain in Winnipeg's first game of the season, is expected to be back in the lineup for the Bombers on Thursday, much to the delight of offensive lineman Dan Goodspeed.

"He does a good job with the calls, he's a student of the game, he's always in there watching film and stuff," raved Goodspeed. "We had him last year so we're all used to working with him."

Having Picard back on the line is welcome news for a team that can use all the help it can get these days.

Coach Berry believes Picard could be just what the doctor ordered for the O-line because of his fiery attitude.


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