It will be one of the more closely monitored questions of the week for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the chances are pretty good that Tim Burke won’t know the identity of his starting pivot until at least Wednesday – and perhaps later.
As the interim head coach of the Blue and Gold met with the media on Monday morning, he revealed that starter Buck Pierce is out with a shoulder problem and that Joey Elliott was questionable for Saturday’s regular season finale with the Montreal Alouettes.
That leaves Alex Brink as the next option, while Justin Goltz will run the Wildcat-inspired package and might get some other snaps as well. Burke said it was possible that RJ Archer might have to be activated from the practice roster as well.
In case you’re wondering — and we’re guessing more than a few of you are — Pierce’s shoulder injury isn’t overly serious.
“It would not be a long-term injury,” said Burke. “It’s just one of those things where he got banged up and is out this week, which happens to be the last week.”
Burke was also asked directly if he felt Elliott has what it takes to become a full-time starter in the CFL?
“He’s progressed throughout the year,” said Burke. “I didn’t think he had his greatest game last week (against the Tiger-Cats). But I do think he has a chance to be a starting quarterback in this league.”
Injuries continue to mount for the Blue Bombers who will be without these players on Saturday: Pierce, RB Chad Simpson (foot), RB Will Ford (shoulder), WR Terrence Edwards (foot), WR Isaac Anderson (shoulder) and DE Jason Vega (toe).
Questionables include Johnny Sears and Demond Washington, so the SAM LB position might get a 7th different player this season.
Burke left open the possibility that an import RB might be brought in to play on Saturday.
“There might be a guy we could bring in that’s been with us in the past, but I don’t want to say his name until he would actually be here,” said Burke.
We wondered if that might mean the return of Bloi-dei Dorzon, while a fan brought up the possibility of Fred Reid. We’re not sure Reid ever got full medical clearance after tearing his ACL last season, so our best guess is Dorzon, who opened the season as the Blue Bombers starting tailback because of injuries to Simpson and Chris Garrett.
Burke was unable to provide an update on his job status moving forward and noted that no negotiations with the Blue Bombers had taken place about him possibly becoming the full-time head coach.
“That’s completely up to (Blue Bombers CEO) Garth (Buchko), (Blue Bombers general manager) Joe (Mack) and the board,” said Burke.
In other CFL news, the league has decided to suspend Toronto Argonauts LB Brandon Isaac for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Saskatchewan Roughriders QB Darian Durant on Saturday.
The Argos chose not to comment on the ruling on Monday afternoon.
Blue Bomber fans remember Isaac for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Piece that left him with a concussion but resulted in a fine and not a suspension.
The Blue Bombers are back on the field Tuesday morning.