It would seem as if Mike Kelly and Barrin Simpson are now at odds with one another. Here is the take from the Winnipeg Sun's Kirk Penton after today's practice.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are in no rush to trade Barrin Simpson.
Head coach Mike Kelly said Friday that Simpson, the middle linebacker who has requested a trade over playing time, is not the one in control of the situation.
“I still think he has value for us and is a good football player,” Kelly said after practice. “Barrin Simpson is a Winnipeg Blue Bomber who has been asked to work within the realm of our football club.
“... He can go ahead and say that and do that (ask for a trade), but he’s not going to force our hand or anything.”
Simpson, who has been battling a turf toe injury all season, said his trade demand is simply a “business decision.” He claims the club told him he’s been playing well but wanted to sit him down in favour of Joe Lobendahn.
“ ‘No, you’ve been playing great’ was the comment to me,” Simpson said. “And I was like, well, I don’t understand it. So I was like, please, just respectfully give me a trade.”
Simpson, 31, will not play on Sunday against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the sixth annual Banjo Bowl. After that, it’s anyone guess.
“I really don’t know,” Simpson said. “Right now I was told to get healthy ... I don’t know much more after that of what would happen, so I really can’t answer that question.”
Simpson was on the field during Friday’s practice but did not take part in the workout.
Meanwhile, Riders coach Ken Miller says Andy Fantuz will return for the Banjo Bowl. However, Jason Clermont won't be playing if you can believe this and why wouldn't you....
Neal Hughes will play after missing the first half of the season, but Kitwana Jones won't after just returning to the club yesterday from Edmonton.