Drew Willy took a shot on his throwing hand near the end of Winnipeg Blue Bombers practice on Thursday, causing everyone in blue and gold to hold their collective breath for a moment.
Including head coach Mike O’Shea.
"He got his hand caught up in another player," said O’Shea. "I just talked to him, he said he’s good."
O’Shea said Willy, the Bombers’ starting quarterback and THE spark to their turnaround so far this season, will be good to go for this Sunday’s annual Labour Day Classic against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
The knock on Willy’s hand came in the dying moments of practice when an attempted pass was battled down by defender Don Unamba, who was blitzing on the play and came into the quarterback’s throwing lane. Willy immediately dropped to the turf and could be seen clutching his throwing hand. He was looked at by head athletic therapist Al Couture but did not leave the field and huddled with his teammates at the end of practice.
Asked if witnessing his starting QB go down led to an ‘Oh crap…’ moment, O’Shea said:
"I wish I was that polite. It’s practice. Things happen in practice. I’m glad he’s feeling better or will be fine. But, yeah, there’s a moment there where you assess the situation and I’m trying to run through my head what we would normally do because I don’t normally differentiate between quarterbacks and anybody else… but I realize now I probably have to.
"There was a part of me that said, ‘Move the drill (keep going from a different spot away from the injured player) because that’s what you do as a defensive guy. I’ve heard that so many times. And then you realize, ‘Hey, that’s your starting quarterback.’
"I wandered over. I took a look. The finger was still attached, so…"