Bomber denies immigration problem

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:12 AM ET

CALGARY Odell Willis finished the walk-through, borrowed a pair of sunglasses from the Bomber PR man and told the media there was nothing to see here.

The Bomber defensive end, who was AWOL all week due to a personal issue, returned to Winnipeg on Thursday and will start against the Stampeders on Saturday night.

CFL sources said Willis had to return to his native U.S. to deal with an immigration problem, but Willis didnt feel like talking about the past on Friday.

Is that what you heard? You gotta check your sources, Willis said. I was taking care of a personal issue, but where the immigration comes from I dont know. When you find out, let me know.

But no, like I said, I was taking care of personal business. But Im back now. Im glad to be back with my family, taking care of my business.

Willis said his personal situation has been taken care of, and he doesnt expect to have to leave the team again.

The personal problem is done, he said. Im ready to play football.

Head coach Paul LaPolice isnt concerned that Willis missed all three days of practice, not to mention hours of meetings and off-field preparation.

He isnt worried about his conditioning, either.

I think Odell runs to the kitchen with the motor he has, so Im sure hell bring whatever he has, LaPolice said.

The Bombers e-mailed the game plan to Willis, who was also able to watch game film in Georgia.

He had a cram session with defensive co-ordinator Kavis Reed on Thursday night, and he was scheduled to do extra studying on Friday as well.

Armond Willis (no relation) practised with the starting defence all week and was under the assumption he would start.

Armond Willis will at least earn a game cheque, as he was placed on the injured list instead of the practice roster.

Defensive tackle Doug Brown is glad to see Odell Willis back in the fold.

Its great. People are starters for a reason, right? Brown said. Hes definitely been playing well this year and this is his homecoming, so Im sure he wants to show what he can do in their confines.

Another advantage Willis has is his familiarity with Stampeders quarterback Henry Burris, who kills defences with the zone read.

Its the play where he either hands the ball off to running back Joffrey Reynolds or keeps it himself.

Willis began his CFL career with Calgary last season before getting traded to Winnipeg in September, so hes seen it up close.

I actually used to get him to help me with the zone read during practice, Willis said. Hes got a good one. Hes got a real good one. Im just going to stay disciplined and play football.

He gave me a couple secrets. Im just going to take them and run with it.


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