New QB Gale finds out about Bombers interest at rodeo

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers signed Mitchell Gale to their practice roster Monday, adding some depth to their injury-bitten quarterbacking corps.

The signing comes after backup Alex Ross suffered a lower-body injury in last Thursday’s 33-30 marathon loss to Edmonton. The injury, which happened during a botched hold for a Justin Medlock field-goal attempt, will keep Ross out of action for four to six weeks.

Gale has been with four CFL teams over five seasons: Toronto, Hamilton, Saskatchewan and B.C.

The 28-year-old Oklahoma native, who’s living in Alberta on a work permit, was watching a pro rodeo when he got a text message from the Bombers.

“I don’t know that I had any expectations, honestly,” Gale said of playing football again. “If it happened, it was going to happen and I was going to be ready for it. If it didn’t happen, I was going to move on with my life.”

Gale dressed for seven games with the Lions last season, but didn’t see any action. His first CFL start was in 2016 with Saskatchewan after Darian Durant was injured.

In 13 career games, Gale has completed 88-of-158 pass attempts for 1,050 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions.

“I was in Toronto with him in 2013 so I know him personally,” Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea said of Gale. “I know what kind of guy he is and how much he’s grown as a football player.”

Rookie quarterback Chris Streveler, who made his pro debut as the starter against the Eskimos, was on the field for Monday’s practice, along with Bryan Bennett, Gale and Ross.

Ross threw the ball a bit during practice, but didn’t have a helmet on. He joins injured Bombers starter Matt Nichols, who hurt his right knee during a June 6 practice and will miss four to six weeks.

Streveler will be at the controls again when the Bombers take on the Alouettes in Montreal Friday.

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