Blue Say Bye for a While

Article excerpt

It's time to take mind off troubles and hurt off muscles

Brandon Stewart should have been in Seattle by now, soaking in the comfort of home and the smell of the coast while the Bombers are on break.

Only one little problem -- one the cornerback didn't notice until after he landed in Vancouver for Monday's tilt against the B.C. Lions. "I forgot my passport in Winnipeg," Stewart said at the airport Tuesday while some of his teammates laughed around the luggage carousel. "I was like, well, I guess I won't be crossing that border. Guess I'll go back to Winnipeg and hang out."

Hey, that's not so bad in itself. After falling 27-20 to the Lions to sit at a frustrating 1-5 on the season, the Bombers could use a spot of relaxation. Time to rest aching muscles and take the mind away from the field, which so far has been so unkind. "I'm going to do a bunch of nothing," Stewart laughed. "No responsibilities, just sleep and eat. I might not come out of my apartment for a couple of days."

He's not the only one. Some players, including quarterback Justin Goltz, didn't return to Winnipeg Tuesday, bound for vacation spots or just for distant American homes and a rare chance to see family in the middle of the season.

Kick returner Aaron Woods is staying put on the Prairies. His plan for the bye week is to study the playbook and "heal the body."

He probably could use it after taking a monster hit the first play of Monday's game. It was delivered by Lions linebacker Solomon Elimimian, a ruthless hitter who just happens to be Woods' off-season roommate at their training spot in Hawaii.

"I'm probably going to hear about that all off-season," Woods said with a wry grin. As for the game, between the killer hit and the fumble it forced, "it definitely did not start off the way I wanted it to." But he felt better about wrapping it up with 111 yards on five kick returns, a solid improvement over his Week 5 debut.

While the Bombers' muscles need a break, their minds do, too. …