Quarterback Matt Nichols and the rest of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers returned to the practice field on Tuesday for the first time since Friday’s blowout loss to the Ottawa RedBlacks.
It was a tumultuous weekend for Nichols after he came under fire for his post-game comments.
“It was pretty sad for me,” Nichols said after the game on Friday. “Came back on the field and got booed by the whole stadium that I was coming back out there. That one was pretty hard for me.”
Fans booed Nichols’ return to the field and on Tuesday Nichols downplayed his actions.
“What I said is what I said, and it’s crazy, I feel like it’s been completely blown out of proportion for the amount of coverage it’s gotten.”
“I think that everyone thought it bothered me more than it did. I was more upset about the game we had just lost. It’s kinda more of the somber attitude in that instance. I was over it 10 minutes after the game was over. I hope everyone else can be over it now. It’s not the first time I’ve been booed, I know it’s not the last time.”
“It’s probably easy to make news out of that,” head coach Mike O’Shea said.
“I don’t think much of it really. I think there’s a lot of frustration after a game. Matt said what he said. I don’t think his remarks were that bad. But people can take it however they want to take it.”
WATCH: Raw Mike O’Shea Interview – August 21
Nichols said he has no regrets.
“To me it wasn’t even that big of a deal,” he said. “There’s no hard feelings. I completely understand.”
WATCH: Raw Matt Nichols Interview – August 21
The bigger question is why would the head coach send his banged up starting quarterback back into a game where the outcome was no longer in doubt.
“I think if you know me, I would never believe anything is out of reach,” O’Shea said. “When you go 1:40 and score two touchdowns with an onside kick in between, you believe anything is possible.”
“Matt’s our guy,” backup quarterback Chris Streveler said. “When he’s feeling good and ready to go in, he’s going to go in and play. When I’m called upon to go into the game I’m going to do my best to help the team move the ball and when Matt’s ready to get back in the game, he goes back in.”
“In my mind I felt physically able to go and be out there,” Nichols said. “At that point it was basically we were going to lose that game, but I want to be out there when we’re winning games and I want to be out there with my guys when we’re losing games.”
Nichols and company will look to get things turned around on Saturday in Calgary against the 7-1 Stampeders.