Bombers' Pierce gets closer to return
Blue Bombers QB Buck Pierce, sidelined with a foot injury since July 13, took part in drills Saturday and showed good mobility (QMI Agency Files)
Buck Pierce took another important step forward in his rehabilitation on Saturday morning.
Pierce, who has been sidelined with a foot injury since July 13, was much more involved in practice and showed good mobility as the Blue Bombers hit the field for the first time since losing 36-26 to the Montreal Alouettes on Aug. 3.
Pierce took part in the drills but not the offence vs. defence portion of the workout and was unavailable for comment, but the Blue Bombers said he would be updating the media on his situation on Tuesday.
Blue Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice wasn’t sure if Pierce might be an option to dress for Thursday’s game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats but noted it was unlikely.
“We’ll see how he is and I’m the wrong guy to talk about that,” said LaPolice, noting the decision would come down to athletic therapist Alain Couture. “We’ll make the decision later in the week.”
NO SHOWS: Four Blue Bombers — Jonathan Hefney, Jason Vega, Alex Suber and Henoc Muamba — ran into travel issues and were unable to make it back to Winnipeg in time for Saturday’s session.
While some were wondering if there might be some fines to be paid by those missing in action, LaPolice quickly deflected blame away from the players.
“I’m disappointed at the airplane people,” said LaPolice. “I’ve got four guys with airline issues.”
THE MESSAGE: With the Blue Bombers sitting at 1-5 through the opening third of the CFL season, LaPolice was asked what his message to the players was as they returned from the bye week?
“Win a game,” he said. “We have to get better. I don’t care where the standings are or anything. It’s time to win a football game this week. Concentrate on that alone. Concentrate on what you can control and get better.”
CHANGE AT TACKLE?: During the first-team offensive drills, Shannon Boatman was occupying the spot at right tackle Jordan Taormina had been holding down for the opening six games.
LaPolice wasn’t ready to commit to starting Boatman this week.
“We’ll evaluate his practice and see how he does,” said LaPolice. “He’s got to rotate and show he’s going to be better than Jordan. But he’ll get practice reps.”
INJURY UPDATE: LaPolice said Suber (lower-body) is expected to return to the lineup this week, while safety Ian Logan (lower-body) remains an option after doing some running on Saturday.
Linebacker Brandon Stewart did some running as well, but was ruled out of Thursday’s game.
“He’s still not there yet,” said LaPolice. “We think.”
Running back Chad Simpson and receiver Chris Matthews used Saturday as a maintenance day, while running back Carl Volny (knee) didn’t take part either.
If Logan can’t go, either Jovon Johnson or non-import Dan West would be used at safety.
NUMBERS GAME: One stat worth noting as Week 7 of the CFL season came to a close, the 4-2 Edmonton Eskimos have allowed only 99 points through six games while scoring 139.
By comparison, the 1-5 Blue Bombers have allowed 199, while scoring 78.