The Bombers had a light, 70-minute workout without pads or helmets on Wednesday in the bitter Prairie cold, but spirits were high after Monday’s upset win over the Alouettes.
Aside from the uncertain status of quarterback Buck Pierce, the Bombers have some serious injury issues going into Saturday’s game against Calgary.
A look at that and a few other noteworthy items …
• Defensive linemen Bryant Turner (ankle) and Alex Hall (knee) are “very doubtful,” according to head coach Tim Burke, which means I have a better chance of playing on Saturday. Meanwhile, Canadian receivers Cory Watson (leg) and Kito Poblah (upper body) are both “doubtful,” which, four days before a game, means you have a better chance of playing on Saturday.
• So here’s what the Bombers were doing on Wednesday. Rory Kohlert was playing in Cory Watson’s spot, while Isaac Anderson was playing for Kito Poblah. That means Jade Etienne will dress but not start. Since the Bombers need to find another starting Canadian, they had Fernand Kashama taking a boatload of reps at defensive end. It also looks like Canadian defensive tackle Jake Thomas will be back in the lineup after missing three games with an injury, so he could play if Kashama needs to come out. The Bombers do a ton of rotation on the D-line anyway, but now they would have to always have a Canadian on the field.
• There’s obviously a lot of chatter about Tim Burke’s decision to put Buck Pierce at quarterback on Saturday if he passes his concussion test on Wednesday afternoon. Joey Elliott is the offensive player of the week and then he doesn’t start? You’d think head coach Tim Burke would have at least considered it, but it doesn’t sound like he did. “I don’t think it’s that tough a decision,” Burke said. “Like Joey was telling you guys, Buck’s our franchise quarterback. He gives us the best chance.”
• I wonder what Elliott was really thinking.
• You have to give Elliott another chance against the Stamps. The last time he played them he looked downright awful. He’s still 2-7 as the Winnipeg’s quarterback of record. He needs to put at least two good games together, so why not see if he can do it on Saturday?
• I heard somewhere the other day that the Bombers are 10-1 in the last 11 games that Buck Pierce finishes. Not quite. They’re 7-4.
• Talked to Bomber president Garth Buchko on Wednesday about the potential return of Ottawa in 2014 and in which division that would leave the Bombers. He said he doesn’t care. The West is their tradition, while they have built up some good rivalries in the East for their younger fans. The last time the Bombers moved, in 2006, they got $700,000 from the rest of the league for their troubles.
• Speaking of divisions, I did the math on how well the Bombers do in each division when it comes to Grey Cup wins and appearances. They’ve made it to 20 Grey Cups and won in eight times over 67 seasons in the West Division. That’s a 12% success rate. They’ve made it to six Grey Cups and won it twice over 14 seasons in the East Division. That’s a success rate of 14%. They failed to win the Grey Cup during their only season in the North Division. So the East it should be!
• The Bombers will have their one official practice of the week on Thursday.