WINNIPEG - There were almost more receivers watching practice than participating in it on Wednesday.
That would have to be viewed as good news for CFL rookie receiver Clarence Denmark, who hasn’t played a regular-season football game in more than two and a half years.
If Greg Carr’s wonky hamstring isn’t healed enough, Denmark will get his first official crack at the CFL game when the Bombers host the Argos on Friday. The 25-year-old spent parts of the past two seasons on the practice roster of his hometown Jacksonville Jaguars and just wants to hit the field.
“It’s a place that I want to be, and I’m loving the game, I’m loving the fans, and I’m loving all my teammates,” Denmark said. “They’re very helpful, even all the older guys. They help me out. It’s great.”
Denmark had seven catches for 89 yards and a touchdown in Winnipeg’s two pre-season games, but the three import receiving spots were already set and Perry Floyd secured the designated import spot. As a result, Denmark had to go on a practice roster yet again.
Now, after just one game, it appears his number is about to be called. And if he plays against the Argos, it will mark the two-year anniversary of the last time a University of Arkansas-Monticello alum played for the Bombers. It was two years ago Friday the Bombers released Derick Armstrong after he refused to play their season-opener.
Head coach Paul LaPolice likes what he’s seen from the 5-foot-11, 187-pound pass catcher.
“He’s fast, he’s got some escapability as a receiver and has pretty good knowledge,” LaPolice said. “He’s done a good job within the system.”
Slotback Terrence Edwards (arm) did a few drills on Wednesday, but he didn’t take part in first-team offence drills and his status remains up in the air for Friday.
Rookie receiver Jade Etienne, who is scheduled to make his pro debut on Friday, didn’t practise on Wednesday due to back spasms, but both he and LaPolice said he’ll be good to go against the Boatmen.
If Carr and Edwards can’t play, the Bombers will be replacing three of their five starting receivers from last week’s season-opener. Aaron Hargreaves will start in place of Kito Poblah (knee).
LATE HITS: Defensive back Jovon Johnson (hip) and defensive end Odell Willis (groin) were back on the practice field Wednesday … According to The Leader-Post, Bomber castoff Remond Willis could be part of the Roughriders’ starting rotation at defensive end on Saturday versus Montreal.