The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have a couple of gaping question marks in the middle of their defensive line with just two days to go until the club hosts the Ottawa Redblacks.
Bombers defensive tackle Zach Anderson was a spectator at practice for the third day in a row Tuesday morning at Investors Group Field and fellow tackle Bryant Turner was also once again absent, as he has been all week.
Turner was excused from practice this week to attend the birth of his daughter and head coach Mike O’Shea revealed Tuesday afternoon there is some uncertainty if Turner will be back in time for Thursday’s game.
"We’re still not sure," said O’Shea. "But we’ll know shortly."
Making matters worse, O’Shea said he is also uncertain if Anderson, who has an injured heel, will be healthy enough to play against the Redblacks. "He’s a little bit banged up still," said O’Shea. "But Zach fully intends to play."
Turner and Anderson were a big part of Winnipeg’s defensive effort last week in shutting down the Toronto Argonauts and QB Ricky Ray as part of a 45-21 opening week win for the Bombers, but O’Shea insisted on Tuesday that he is not overly concerned about the uncertainty surrounding their status right now.
"We’ll have it figured out," said O’Shea. "It’s getting interesting...but you don’t see me stressing. I’m not worried."
The good news for O’Shea and the Bombers was starting centre Steve Morley, who missed the first two practices this week, was a full participant on Tuesday.
Tuesday’s session at IGF was the last full practice the Bombers will hold in advance of their game against Ottawa, who had the bye on opening week and will be playing their first ever regular season game as a reincarnated franchise in the nation’s capitol.
The other good news on Tuesday was that Bombers QB Drew Willy was named the CFL offensive player of the week.
Willy completed 19 of 27 passes for 308 yards, 4 TDs and 1 interception in his regular season debut for the Bombers against the Argos last Thursday. The Bombers did not make Willy available for comment to the media today.