July 9, 2009

Bombers release Armstrong


WINNIPEG — The Derick Armstrong saga in Winnipeg is over.

The Blue Bombers announced on Wednesday that they released the 30-year old wide receiver.

The release comes nearly a week after Armstrong refused to take the field for the first game of the season in Edmonton, after being listed as a designated import (non-starter). The news that he would be rotating in the lineup came as a surprise to Armstrong, who refused to play.

After the game, which the Bombers lost 19-17, Armstrong and coach Mike Kelly reportedly exchanged some heated words.

“A little misunderstanding between me and the coaches. I didn’t feel any love at the time.” Armstrong explained to the Winnipeg Free Press on Friday afternoon. “It was mostly over them wanting me not to start and to be a backup. I wasn’t comfortable with the role after the years and dedication I’ve put into this game.”

Armstrong did not practice with the club after the incident, as the Bombers looked for trade possibilities that didn’t materialize.

Armstrong has posted over 1,000 yards the past two seasons in Winnipeg, including 81 receptions for 1,010 yards and five touchdowns in 2008.

The Bombers have added import receiver Scott Mitchell to their practice roster. In 16 games with Hamilton last season, Mitchell had 38 passes for 697 yards and two touchdowns.