Bombers bring back preseason returner standout Chris Smith, one other

Photo courtesy: Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have brought back a couple of players who were injured in training camp, including returner Chris Smith.

The rookie running back was cut due to injury despite returning a punt 109 yards for a touchdown in Winnipeg’s second preseason game. He has remained around the team while receiver Myron Mitchell has handled return duties in the interim.

The five-foot-nine, 194-pound speedster played five seasons at the University of Louisiana Lafayette, rushing 373 times for 2,167 yards and 16 touchdowns, catching 52 passes for 410 yards and three scores, and tossing a major on his lone pass attempt. He also returned 66 kicks for 1,556 yards and two touchdowns, earning first-team All-American honours in 2020.

The Bombers also brought back American defensive end Ali Fayad, who was released on May 12.

The six-foot-two, 250-pound defender dressed for four games with the Toronto Argonauts in 2022 and recorded four defensive tackles, one special teams tackle, and one sack. He previously played five seasons at Western Michigan University, where he was named the MAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2021. In 52 career games for the Broncos, he tallied 154 tackles, 51 for loss, 30 sacks, 10 forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

In a corresponding move, Winnipeg has placed defensive tackle Miles Fox and defensive end Celestin Haba on the six-game injured.

Haba started the first two games of the season, recording one tackle. He played eight games as a rookie in 2023, collecting 12 tackles, four sacks, and a forced fumble.

Fox joined the Bombers late last season after a stint with the B.C. Lions and also recorded one tackle in two starts to begin the year. In seven CFL games, he has posted seven tackles and a sack.

The Bombers (0-2) will return to action on Friday, June 21 when they host the B.C. Lions at Princess Auto Stadium at 8:30 p.m. EDT.