It was definitely a sight for sore eyes for fans of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The Bombers got back down to business as they returned to the field to start preparing to face the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Western Final and a familiar face was back at practice.
Running back Andrew Harris was taking part for the first time in almost seven weeks after missing the end of the regular season.
“It felt good today,” said Harris. “It was nice to get out there with the guys again, and not be in a parka and my Timberland boots. It was just great to run around and be apart of the huddle again.
“It’s crazy how much you take for granted those little things, and just the excitement of being able to get back on the field, and it was definitely an exciting moment for me.”
It was Harris’ first practice since getting hurt against the Edmonton Elks back on October 15. He missed their final four games with a knee injury, but said he was optimistic all along he’d be able to hit this target date.
“I feel really strong about today and optimistic about today,” said Harris. “Honestly, I felt more in shape than I did earlier in the season.”
Harris also missed their first three games of the season, but still rushed for 623 yards, with another 116 yards receiving, while scoring four touchdowns.
But there’s still no guarantee Harris plays against the Riders.
If his knee holds up this week in practice, he should be good to go to play on Sunday, but Harris and the team are taking a wait and see approach when it comes to his status for the Western Final.
“It’s totally up to the coaching staff and the training staff,” Harris said. “I’m just going to keep putting what I can on film, and relate to them how I feel, and we’ll see what happens.”
“The real test comes tomorrow,” said head coach Mike O’Shea. “See how he feels. We’re just going to wait and see.
“Having a guy start a game is not the goal. It’s having a guy be able to finish, and finish well. Once again, we say the same thing, and we do it all the time. When he walks in, in the morning, we’ll see how he’s feeling then. That’ll be a real big determining factor.”
The Bombers face the Riders on Sunday starting at 3:00 where a trip to the 108th Grey Cup will be on the line.