Blue Bombers suspend nine on eve of training camp, including former third-round pick Connor Griffiths

Photo courtesy: Rich Lam/UBC

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers made a flurry of transactions on Friday fewer than 24 hours ahead of the start of training camp.

American linebacker Khaylan Kearse-Thomas was signed along with American defensive backs David Rivers and Hakeem Bailey.

Defensive end Royce LaFrance, who dressed for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2017, was released, while defensive end Patrick Choujda, who played for the Calgary Stampeders in 2019, was moved to the retired list.

Nine players were also moved to the suspended list, eight of whom are American rookies — running backs James Williams and Josh Caldwell, receivers Malcolm Lewis and Mekale McKay, defensive lineman Vontarrius Dora, linebacker Mason Moe, and defensive backs Dexter McDougle and Marwin Evans.

The most notable suspended player is national defensive tackle Connor Griffiths.

Griffiths was a third-round pick in the 2019 CFL Draft out of UBC. He spent his rookie season on the practice roster and was pencilled-in as the second-string nose tackle behind incumbent starter Jake Thomas. His absence could prove costly, though former first-round pick Jonathan Kongbo has experience playing along the interior.

A spokesperson for the Blue Bombers informed 3DownNation that Griffiths has elected to move on from football.