According to TSN reporter Farhan Lalji, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers aren’t certain star Canadian running back Andrew Harris will be ready to go for the 2021 CFL season opener.
Harris has been held out of practice recently by head coach Mike O’Shea as concerns reportedly grow regarding his status versus the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
“That level is increasing as we head into Week 1 and I think there is some concern right now that Andrew Harris may not be available for Week 1,” Lalji said.
“And this is an injury, it is not maintenance which it was at the start of camp. Mike O’Shea talked about that, Harris wanted to practice, they were holding him back, but that he would be ready.”
The reigning Grey Cup MVP left practice on July 12 and did not return. O’Shea initially told the media that Harris had an appointment to go to, although he admitted the following day that he would “take it easy for the next couple weeks.”
And the Grey Cup-winning bench boss has stuck to his plan. Harris has been jogging around during warm-ups and left the field limping on Day 15 of camp, according to Darrin Bauming from Bonfire Sports.
“But on Saturday, he suffered a setback. Harris did try to get some work on the practice field, but then he pulled up, he was noticeably limping, he was frustrated afterwards,” Lalji said.
“And again, this is now an injury, it’s not simply maintenance. And there is some concern that the league’s leading rusher and MOP in the Grey Cup game will not be available to play in Week 1.”
Harris has not missed a game due to injury over the past three seasons despite a heavy workload in Winnipeg. However, the Bombers primary ball carrier was suspended for two games in 2019 after testing positive for a trace amount of a performance-enhancing substance.