Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Elliott to lead Bombers on Saturday against Stampeders
Pierce has not been medically cleared for action
Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Tim Burke said Joey Elliott will be the team's starting quarterback for a second straight week and will lead the Bombers against the Calgary Stampeders at home on Saturday.
Burke confirmed after Thursday's practice that No. 1 quarterback Buck Pierce, sidelined since Sept. 29 with a concussion, will be on the sidelines Saturday when the Bombers (4-10) host the Stampeders (8-6) at noon.
Pierce was on the field with the team during Thursday's practice and lightly tossed the ball to a few receivers, but Elliott led the first team offence.
"The medical staff said he (Pierce) is not ready to go yet," Burke said. "I was expecting him to (be cleared), I think he was really close but that's just my speculation, that's not the medical staff."
Burke said Elliott has a chance to build on his strong performance last week in the 27-22 win over the Aloutettes in Montreal when Elliott passed for three touchdowns, was not intercepted and was named the CFL's offensive player of the week. It was Winnipeg's first road win of the season. Elliott had been third on Winnipeg's depth chart earlier this season.
"If Joey can have a really good game this week, certainly that would say to us as an organization, hey we've got a pretty good backup here at least. It'd be a tremendous confidence booster for the entire team and for Joey," Burke said.
"I thought he really did a great job making decisions and he's learned to let plays develop and not just chuck the ball down real quick and he was in command of the game. I thought he managed the game really well. that tells you that's he's just not concentrating on what he has to do, he's concentrating on what the offence has to do."
Elliott is the first Bombers quarterback to record more than one win as he has a 2-7 record so far this season as the Bombers' starting quarterback.
Burke said it is not known when Pierce would be ready to play. Pierce suffered the concussion during Winnipeg's 29-10 loss to the Toronto Argonauts when he was subjected to a helmet-to-head hit by Argos linebacker Brandon Isaac, who was penalized on the play and later fined by the league.
Updated on Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 11:49 AM CDT: adds new photo
1:28 PM: Updated with two players added to practice roster.
2:53 PM: updates with full writethru
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