The Winnipeg Blue Bombers got down to their 46-man roster on Saturday afternoon, and a few veterans failed to survive the cuts.
Defensive tackle Moton Hopkins, running back Chris Garrett and safety Chris Smith, who all joined the Blue and Gold last season, were among the eight players the CFL team released.
The others let go on Saturday were running back Alex Henderson, quarterback Justin Goltz, linebacker John Surla, offensive lineman Brendan Dunn and defensive end Remond Willis, meaning Jason Vega won the spot left open by Phillip Hunt’s departure.
The seven-man practice roster will come from the 20 players the Bombers released on Friday and Saturday. Surla and Dunn are definitely on it, while Henderson and defensive tackle Bryant Turner are expected to be as well.
Defensive back Johnny Sears, who was a special teams star in Thursday’s pre-season loss to Toronto, has been placed on the nine-game injured list with a high ankle spraing, while rookie offensive lineman Paul Swiston is also on the nine-game.
Glenn January won the battle for the starting right tackle spot over Kelly Butler, but head coach Paul LaPolice wouldn’t divulge other outcomes of position battles, like strong-side cornerback (Deon Beasley or Brandon Stewart) or the interior of the offensive line.
First overall pick, linebacker Henoc Muamba, has been put on the one-game injured list, which means he can’t play in Friday’s season-opener in Hamilton. Strong-side linebacker Clint Kent (ankle) and defensive end Deji Oduwole were also put on the one-game injured list.
Saturday’s news means rookie receiver Jade Etienne has cracked the 46-man roster, as has first-round supplemental draft pick, receiver Kito Poblah.
Receiver-returner Perry Floyd has cracked the roster, likely as the offensive designated import.
DT Moton Hopkins
RB Alex Henderson
RB Chris Garrett
S Chris Smith
OL Brendan Dunn
DE Remond Willis
QB Justin Goltz
LB John Surla
LB Clint Kent
DE Deji Oduwole
LB Henoc Muamba
DB Johnny Sears
OL Paul Swiston