WINNIPEG - Clarence Denmark knows that numbers sometimes only tell part of the story.
So while it’s true the Winnipeg Blue Bombers speedster is still searching for his first touchdown of the season, Denmark was encouraged by his performance in Wednesday’s 25-22 loss to the Toronto Argonauts at Rogers Centre.
After a relatively quiet start, Denmark made an impact on Wednesday, making four catches for 115 yards, including a 55-yard reception that was reminiscent of the type of play he came up with regularity in 2011.
“I knew it was coming, I didn’t really get down on myself early,” said Denmark, who was the Blue Bombers nominee for most outstanding rookie last season after making 65 catches for 818 yards and five touchdowns. “It felt good to get it going, but it’s all about winning at the end of the day. To feel like you helped your team win.
“Oh yeah, you always thinking you’re getting open as a receiver. You think you’re getting open on every play. But when you go back and look at the film, sometimes you’re not.”
Although the Blue Bombers were held to just 185 yards passing, they made a concerted effort to stretch the field. That didn’t result in as many completions as head coach Paul LaPolice would have liked, but it means the opposition defence must guard against it.
“We have that threat week in and week out, it’s just about executing it and getting everything right,” said Denmark.
While Denmark was coming up with his best game of the season, breakout receiver Chris Matthews found himself on the opposite side of the spectrum as he was limited to just one catch for 16 yards in the contest.
“They did a good job (in coverage), that’s all it was,” said Matthews, who continues to lead the CFL with 366 yards on 21 receptions. “Things are going to happen and we have to adjust to it.”
For a good chunk of the evening, Matthews found himself lined up against Patrick Watkins, a defensive back who matched him in size at 6-foot-5.
“It was fun, I enjoyed playing against him,” said Matthews. “It opened my eyes that I’m not the only big guy around here.”
Matthews also had an injury scare in the first quarter when he went down to the turf hard while attempting to make a catch in double coverage in the end zone.
“I wasn’t concerned, I already knew what it was,” said Matthews. “I tried to fight through it, they took me in, I came back out and I was feeling good.”
Although he wouldn’t disclose the nature of the injury, Matthews said it wouldn’t keep him off the field for Thursday’s home opener against the Edmonton Eskimos.
Since the Blue Bombers are off Friday and Saturday whether Terrence Edwards, who left Wednesday’s game during the second series with a lower-body injury, or Cory Watson, who has missed the first four games with a hamstring injury after catching 69 passes for 793 yards and one touchdown last season, will be ready to return.
If Edwards can’t go, look for Kurt Adams to move into the starting lineup or Doug Pierce to get a promotion from the practice roster.
The Blue Bombers return to the practice field on Sunday morning.
2012 Blue Bombers receivers stats through four games
Rec Yds Avg. Long TD
Chris Matthews 21 366 17.4 72 3
Terrence Edwards 15 212 14.1 46 1
Clarence Denmark 12 166 13.8 55 0
Kito Poblah 13 116 8.9 18 0
Rory Kohlert 6 62 10.3 17 0