Sears takes his punishment

Blue Bombers defensive back Johnny Sears during practice at Canad Inns Stadium in Winnipeg, Man.,...

Blue Bombers defensive back Johnny Sears during practice at Canad Inns Stadium in Winnipeg, Man., Nov. 1, 2011.

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:07 PM ET

WINNIPEG - Johnny Sears is holding his nose and taking his medicine.

The Bomber defensive back decided not to appeal the one-game suspension he received for his dangerous hit last week on Toronto Argonauts quarterback Steven Jyles. He will miss Saturday’s crucial regular-season finale in Calgary against the Stampeders.

The reason Sears didn’t appeal his suspension, even though recent challenges in the CFL have been successful, is because he didn’t want to take the chance of missing a playoff game if his one-game ban was upheld.

“If I’m the first one to get suspended, I could be the first one to lose an appeal,” Sears said. “And I don’t want to jeopardize my team and not be able to be with them in the playoffs.

“I’d rather play in playoffs than play now and appeal and risk missing one of the key games of our season.”

Sears drove his helmet into Jyles’ head as the quarterback slid feet first in the fourth quarter of Friday’s 27-22 Argo victory. Jyles was knocked unconscious but eventually walked off under his own power. He will miss Toronto’s regular-season finale on Thursday against Hamilton.

Sears said he did not mean to injure Jyles, who spent last season with the Blue and Gold.

“No way at all,” Sears said. “He was here last year. He remembers me. We was cool. Before the situation I had no problems with him whatsoever.

“It’s one of those plays that I wish I could take back because I don’t want to harm him in no kind of way deliberately, but it’s football. It happens.”

Sears spoke to defensive tackle Doug Brown, one of Winnipeg’s CFL Players Association representatives, before deciding to pass on launching an appeal.

“I just don’t want nothing to keep lingering and have to keep thinking about it,” Sears said. “We got Calgary this week, and that’s our main focus. And I want to keep it that way instead of focusing on me, who’s not playing. They just need to worry about Calgary and the win.”

The Bombers would clinch first place in the East Division with a victory on Saturday at McMahon Stadium.

Sears isn’t practising this week in an effort to heal a nagging injury.


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