Naaman Roosevelt eligible to make Blue Bombers debut in Labour Day Classic vs. Riders

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Freshly-signed Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ receiver Naaman Roosevelt is eligible to play in the upcoming Labour Day Classic against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Per sources, the veteran receiver remained at his home in Buffalo, N.Y. as of Monday morning with plans to travel to Winnipeg later in the day. Due to a recent CFL regulation change regarding the border, the veteran will not have to complete a full seven-day quarantine after arriving in the Manitoba capital.

The Blue Bombers will return to the practice field on Wednesday in preparation for Sunday’s contest against their prairie rivals. Roosevelt will be eligible to begin practicing on Friday and dress in the game if the club chooses to insert him into the lineup.

It’s a tight turnaround, of course, but the 33-year-old has five seasons of CFL experience and was in training camp with the Montreal Alouettes until he was released in late July. He also has a preexisting relationship with quarterback Zach Collaros from their days together in Saskatchewan.

Winnipeg’s receivers have dropped some key passes over the past two games and Roosevelt has arguably the best hands of any target in the CFL. If the Blue Bombers feel as though he’s ready to go, he could be in the starting lineup to face his old team on Sunday.

Roosevelt caught 77 passes for 946 yards and one touchdown as a member of the Roughriders in 2019. He had an impressive game against Winnipeg in the West Final, making seven receptions for 87 yards.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.