It was a great run culminating in a long-awaited Grey Cup victory in 2019 but the Andrew Harris era in Winnipeg appears to be drawing to a close.
Reason? Simple! Harris's body is falling apart.
The big kid is almost 35 now, he sat out a year (like we all did) in 2020 and he's had repetitive issues with his body .
Usually, Harris just pops up goes on the bike and re-inserts himself into the Bomber lineup. Now, he's been lying on the field more and more, less & less cycling.
Is this for certain? Nope. I'm giving you my unbiased opinion. Was Jon Cornish expected to retire at barely 31? I don't think so. Cornish had several nagging injuries starting at about 29, including a broken thumb, neck stiffness & suspected concussions and he was every bit the stud Andrew Harris is.
I suspect I'll be scoffed at by some for speculating. Actually, I am speculating - but its based on hard observation of a guy who's watched the CFL seriously over 50 years.
To do what Harris has done in his early to mid-30s even with modern physio-therapy is truly amazing. But the human body can only take so much abuse.
The fact that Harris's last two major injuries did not come from a on-field hit is the most disturbing thing in his file Remember, he suffered a similar leg injury in training camp and he missed the first 2 games of the season (no exhibitions this yr). Now, he was running in for a Bomber TD on a short hitch pass from Collaros (albeit awkwardly) and he damaged his knee.
Like Cornish before, the bomber braintrust is treating Harris's injury very coyly. Coach O'Shea is talking about a series of tests to determine the "extent" of the injury. That sounds serious to me - the main reason they're couching it is to create preparation doubt for the bombers next opponent this weekend (BC). Also, Harris sells tickets so if they announce he's been 6-gamed the Bombers ticket sales might dry up.
Ignoring the nonsense about injury announcements the sad fact is that Harris has been beleaguered by multiple knocks the last few months - and while he keeps coming back - he keeps going down.
My guess is Harris has a fairly serious knee injury requiring surgery. Bombers might try and "tape him up" and use pain-killers to get him in the lineup for the Western Final (and hopefully Grey Cup) but I suspect the end is very near for one of Winnipeg's all-time greats.
Harris going down and being out of the Wpg lineup is tough to swallow - but it would be a bigger loss to the Bombers if Collaros was lost - or Bighill & Jefferson on D. Bombers have a decent back-up in Oliveira but while Oliveira is almost as good a runner as Harris he's not quite the flanker/WR Harris has proven to be. Also, Harris knows more about brush-blocking than most backs in the CFL. His absence will cause problems for Buck Pierce's offense.
BTW, Mike O'Shea said the results on Harris won't be known til later in the week. Thats either a snowjob (we've had snowjobs before) or Harris knee is so swollen that x-rays & other visual probes can't be utilized until swellings reduce. So if thats the case - and O'Shea is telling the unvarnished truth - Bomber fans have much reason to be concerned.