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Bombers lose Stephan, Gilmore to injury

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JT Gilmore takes a break during the second quarter against Montreal last night. 'It hurts losing him,' Bomber coach Tim Burke said today.

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

JT Gilmore takes a break during the second quarter against Montreal last night. 'It hurts losing him,' Bomber coach Tim Burke said today. Photo Store

The Blue Bombers are two men down after last night's season opener at Investors Group Field.

Canadian linebacker Rene Stephan will be out for a month with a wounded hamstring, and starting tackle JT Gilmore is down for a four-week count with a calf injury.

Both losses will put a cramp in the Bombers' style. "Obviously any time you lose a Canadian linebacker, that hurts you," Bombers coach Tim Burke said on Friday afternoon.

Burke suggested the "explosive" Gilmore's absence will be felt. "We were really happy with where (Gilmore) was at," Burke said. "It hurts losing him."

In a brisk conversation with media, Burke also defended his decision to go for a punt while pinned deep in the Bombers' zone in the fourth quarter rather than give up a safety.

Burke also raised an eyebrow when asked to rate starting quarterback Buck Pierce's performance, which included three interceptions.

"He'll have better ones," Burke said, drily.

History

Updated on Friday, June 28, 2013 at 3:42 PM CDT: Corrects spelling of name.

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