Winnipeg Blue Bombers No. 1 quarterback Buck Pierce caused a stir this morning at Investors Group Field, telling reporters after the day-before-game walk-through that he could play this week against the Calgary Stampeders.
The Bombers have been saying all week that Pierce is fighting an abdominal injury and that Justin Goltz will be at the offensive controls here Friday night against the Stamps.
"I don’t know," Pierce said today. "It’s up to them. It’s out of my control."
He was asked if he’d be able to play next week at B.C.
"For sure," Pierce said. "My sense is that I’d be physically able to play this week. It’s out of my hands."
Bombers head coach Tim Burke confirmed later it is indeed out of Pierce’s hands because he’s not completely healthy.
"Like I said earlier in the week, Buck will tell you he’s healthy," Burke said later. "The trainer says he not.
"And Buck would tell you as long as he’s breathing that he’s healthy. He’s that kind of guy. He’s tough. He wants to go out there and he wants to play. I mean, he’d play with a broken arm."
Burke was clear about who his starter is going to be.
"If he was healthy, he’d be starting," Burke said. "But he’s not so he isn’t."
Pierce, who hasn’t taken a whole lot of reps with the offence this week, did admit he’s been battling the after-effects of last week’s loss to Toronto, when he didn’t play the second half.
"Anytime you have some internal injuries, you’re a little bit leery of everything," he said. "It has some lasting effects throughout the week. But I’m fine and I’m glad I’m feeling better.
"There’s always concerns when you have stuff like that going on. There’s a lot of things that can happen. So they wanted to watch that but I feel like I loosened up good throughout the week. I feel pretty good.
"It is what it is at this point. I know they wanted to make sure I was OK. There was some concerns with the hit and the effects that it took. It is what it is. I’m a teammate first. Am I happy about it? I’m not. But I want to make sure we go out there and we perform."
-- with files from Paul Wiecek