Cory Watson is out and Aaron Hargreaves is in as Winnipeg’s fifth receiver.
“We just need to have more consistent play at that spot,” offensive co-ordinator Jamie Barresi said. “It’s been kind of hard on Cory. He’s been doing a lot of special teams, and he’s gotta get in sync with the quarterbacks.
“He’s got a lot on his plate, and we need to get more production there.”
Hargreaves is in his third year with the Bombers, and his start on Saturday against the Edmonton Eskimos will be just the third of his career. He wasn’t able to stick the last two times he got a chance to start, but he’s hoping the third time is the charm.
“That’d be great,” the 6-foot-4, 233-pound Hargreaves said. “I just come out and try to help the team win any way I can, whether I’m starting or not.”
Hargreaves had a chance to try his luck elsewhere during the off-season through free agency, but he re-signed in Winnipeg before he had a chance to hit the market. The Bombers then picked Watson, a Canadian receiver, with their first pick in this year’s CFL draft.
Hargreaves said that lit the fire under him a little bit.
“Yeah, it was a little bit more motivation,” he said. “You can’t really control those kind of things, so when I came in, wherever they had me on the depth chart, I was going to work as hard as if I was first and see where things go.”
Watson has three catches for 52 yards, while Hargreaves made a couple of nice grabs for 20 yards last week in Hamilton.
UP IN THE AIR? Winnipeg’s starting weak-side linebacker spot appears to be unsettled.
Marcellus Bowman, who struggled in last week’s loss to Hamilton, lined up with the first team on Wednesday, but the rookie was quickly yanked off the field in favour of Courtney Smith after he made an error. Derrick Doggett also had some time there on Tuesday.
Head coach Paul LaPolice made it sound like they’re going to let Bowman play through his growing pains.
“He strikes you when he hits you,” LaPolice said. “But he’s a strong safety who’s never really played in the box. So those are the adjustments we’re trying to work him through and get him mentally to see the things inside. But boy, he’s got talent.
“He’ll get better each week.”
LATE HITS: Safety Ian Logan (hamstring) didn’t practise and is unlikely to play on Saturday … Defensive back Alex Suber will be back in the starting lineup, and fullback Daryl Stephenson is good to go, too. Both missed two weeks of action … Left guard Brendon LaBatte didn’t practise on Wednesday due to soreness … Travis Lulay will start at quarterback for the B.C. Lions on Friday in Toronto. Casey Printers is out with a knee injury.