By Darrin Bauming (@DarrinBauming)
The rain mostly stayed away, and an estimated 7,500 fans migrated back to old Canad Inns Stadium on Sunday morning for the opening day of training camp for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Beyond a bake sale put on by the coaches’ wives for Winnipeg Harvest, the dunk-a-Rider-tank, and an address from Premier Greg Selinger, there was also some football.
An intriguing positional group to watch were the receiving corps. The talented group all showed well, but it was 6-foot-5 newcomer Chris Matthews who opened the most eyes, grabbing everything thrown his way while lining up with the first team.
“There’s a lot of competition out there,” said the 22-year-old rookie out of Kentucky. “My chances are about as good as everybody who came out here as a wide receiver. We’re all fighting for a spot, and no matter what they say in the papers or anything like that, it’s up in the air.”
Missing from Day 1 of camp were defensive backs Jonathan Hefney (personal reasons), Jovon Johnson (personal reasons), running back Carl Volny (knee), and safety Brady Browne (hamstring).
Browne was the lone Bomber to fail his physical on Saturday, but the former Manitoba Bisons standout is expected to return very soon. Hefney is expected to arrive in Winnipeg later today, while Johnson is expected to arrive on Monday. Volny, coming off a season ending ACL injury, is said to need more treatment before returning.