WINNIPEG — Troy Westwood has been given a second chance.
The 42-year-old kicker was added to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ practice roster Monday and may suit up as the team’s punter when the Montreal Alouettes visit on Saturday.
Westwood had been abruptly cut by former Bombers coach Doug Berry during last year’s pre-season — a move that appeared to bring an end to a 17-year CFL career that included more than 30 team records.
The former placekicker and punter said he was stunned to receive a text Sunday night from new head coach Mike Kelly, asking if he was interested in rejoining the club.
His two-word reply began with “Holy.”
“Someone asked me earlier in the day (Sunday) if there’s any chance of me maybe coming back to punt,” Westwood said. “And I said, ’There’s absolutely no hope whatsoever of that.’ And so I just about fell over when I checked my phone at the movie theatre (and saw Kelly’s message).
“I was very surprised and more or less just trying to contain and control my emotions since that point in time. I feel like vomiting for the vast majority of the day so far.”
Westwood has been playing soccer and doing some kicking “just in case” a team called him.
Kelly had sent the SOS to Westwood just hours after Winnipeg’s 24-21 loss to the B.C. Lions. Kicker Alexis Serna had missed two of six field goals, shanked a couple punts and finished with a 36-yard average off seven punts.
Serna had been forced into punting duties after Mike Renaud tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his kicking leg during a win against Hamilton the week before.