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Can Andrew Harris Lead His New Team To Victory Over His Former One?

The back-to-back reigning Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers (3-0) haven’t missed a beat without future first-ballot CFL Hall of Fame RB Andrew Harris. Despite several key losses in the offseason, The Bombers, led by masterful head coach Mike O’Shea have continued their predictable winning ways.

Can Andrew Harris Recapture His Former Glory With The Argos?

“I wanted to be back in Winnipeg. I wanted to end my career here. I wanted to try to get a third Grey Cup.”

Andrew Harris in an exclusive interview with the Winnipeg Sun back in February.

The truth is that the (1-1) Toronto Argonauts need Andrew Harris right now more than the Winnipeg Blue Bombers do, especially now that the Boatmen are in the midst of an identity crisis after last week’s humbling 44-3 defeat at the hands of Harris’s first CFL team, the B.C. Lions.

One of the main reasons that the Argos signed Andrew Harris was because of his championship pedigree on the field and in the locker room. The Argonauts brought Harris on board for his leadership. In turbulent times like these, Harris is expected to captain the ship and redirect a team in the right direction. It’s a burden that Harris has carried for years successfully.

One of Canada’s greatest running backs, Andrew Harris, has been a special player and teammate throughout his entire football playing journey.

His now-former head coach, Mike O’Shea, spoke so glowingly about Harris this offseason in an interview with Christian Aumell on CJOB in Winnipeg. “Andrew Harris is probably a once-in-a-lifetime player, and he’s a teammate that his teammates really enjoyed being around and working for, and he enjoyed working for them,” “I don’t know that there will be another Andrew Harris.” 

There are significant doubts that Andrew Harris can be the same exceptional athlete he was in Winnipeg for the Boatmen. And a lot of that has to do with his age (35) and how his run ended with the Bombers.

Harris was limited to just seven games in 2021 due to injury, rushing for 623 yards and three touchdowns. However, when Winnipeg needed him the most. Harris came through in the West Final and Grey Cup. In those two outings, Harris rushed for 136 yards and a score against Saskatchewan. And then rushed for 80 yards in the Grey Cup, half of which came in the fourth quarter and overtime. He turned it up a notch when the stakes were at their highest. However, many are pondering whether it was Andrew Harris’s last glorious moment in the sun.

Andrew Harris made a nice debut in Double Blue in week 2, tallying over a hundred yards of offence. But the naysayers who feel that Harris is an old warhorse on his last legs feel vindicated by Harris’s nondescript performance in Week 3, where he rushed for 27 yards and a fumble. Has the eternally undefeated father time finally tackled Andrew Harris? It’s fitting that the question emerges as he is set to face the team he became a legend with.

Revenge Game

Revenge games are very commonplace in today’s pro sports landscape. Sometimes there is so much roster turnover in football from year to year, especially in the CFL, that several players have potential “revenge games” during a long season. Particularly players who have been on multiple teams throughout their careers. But this Monday night’s matchup at BMO Field has special meaning for both sides.

It’s no secret that Andrew Harris felt disrespected by how his time in Winnipeg ended. In February, Harris told Paul Friesen in an exclusive interview for the Winnipeg Sun that the Bombers left him feeling insulted and unwanted. “I’ve got a massive chip on my shoulder now,” Harris said. “No matter what you do, what profession you’re in, every day you’ve got to prove yourself. If you’re getting disrespected at your work and you don’t feel that you’re wanted there anymore, that’s a whole other bag of worms.”

Harris has always played with a chip on his shoulder since he took the rare path to professional football by going through the junior system. Just 225 yards rushing from reaching 10,000 in his storied CFL career, the feat would make him the fifth running back in CFL history to rush for 10,000 yards, something that has only been accomplished by Mike Pringle, George Reed, Johnny Bright, and Charles Roberts.

The great legacy of Andrew Harris in the CFL has already been established. But can he build upon it? Or are his best days behind him? Monday’s performance by Harris against his former team will help shape that narrative. Right now the oddsmakers who have the Bombers as five-point favorites on the road this coming Monday, and the doubters of Andrew Harris and the Argonauts are out in full force writing their own conclusions.

ARGONAUTS-BLUE BOMBERS INJURY REPORT WEEK 4

Andrew Harris is still dealing with a hamstring injury he picked up from Toronto’s home opener against Montreal. He was limited in practice on Thursday. The expectation is that he will play. But the injury itself can be very tricky to manage. Ryan Dinwiddie and the Argonauts staff are treading carefully.

The good news for Toronto is that starting OT Isiah Cage finally practiced. He has missed three weeks of practices and the first two games of the year due to a lingering concussion. Cage’s return to the field couldn’t come at a better time, with Dejon Allen likely missing Monday’s affair with Winnipeg’s dangerous defensive line.

The Double Blue is hoping to get back Shane Ray in Week 4. Ray had a phenomenal opening night showing against Montreal two weeks ago But was missing in action versus B.C. Ray is limited in practice at the moment. His progression over the next two days will be pivotal.

The Bombers will be without star national receiver Nic Demski for a while. He was placed on the team’s six-game injured list on Thursday. Winnipeg is otherwise reasonably healthy going into Monday night at BMO Field.

TORONTO ARGONAUTSPRACTICE DAY
Player NamePositionInjuryTHUFRISATGame Status
Dejon AllenOLKneeDNP
Dashaun AmosDBHipFull
Matt BoatengDBHamstringFull
Isiah CageOLHeadFull
Declan CrossFBNot Injury RelatedFull
Fabion FooteDLHealthy ScratchFull
Andrew HarrisRBHamstringLimited
Trevor HoyteLBHamstringLimited
Gregor MacKellarOLHealthy ScratchFull
A.J. OulletteRBHealthy ScratchFull
Shane RayDLHamstringLimited
WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERSPRACTICE DAY
Player NamePositionInjuryTHUFRISATGame Status
Mike MillerFBAnkleDNP
Pat NeufeldOLAnkleDNP
Jackson JeffcoatDLAnkleLimited
Winston RoseDBFootFull

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