The bad news keeps piling up for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers – on top of the injuries piling up, head coach Tim Burke announced today linebacker Terrell Parker has been lost for the season with torn knee ligaments.
Parker, who leads the Bombers in tackles with 18 – tied for fourth-most in the Canadian Football League – was injured in Saturday’s 25-20 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. So, too, was nickelback Desia Dunn who will be out for at least two weeks with a bad hamstring. Parker will be replaced by rookie Ian Wild; Dunn by veteran Johnny Sears, Jr.
"Any time you lose a starter it’s not good," Burke said Monday. " I really think Terrell probably had his best game on Saturday. He really flew around, made plays and was very assignment sharp and contributed well on special teams.
"Ian Wild will take his place and we feel like Ian’s going to be a good player. He’s a rookie so he’s got to get over rookie mistakes and all that kind of stuff. We know he’ll probably have a couple, but Ian’s definitely a capable player. One thing he’ll bring to the table is he’s going to play with tremendous effort. He’ll be around the ball all night, I guarantee that."
Burke said that GM Joe Mack would likely bring in another linebacker or two because that position was already described as thin at the beginning of the year.
"Now we’re thinner," he said.
Further to the injury report: defensive tackle Bryan Turner (chest) remains doubtful for Friday’s home date with the Toronto Argonauts as is JT Gilmore (calf).
Slotback Terrence Edwards (shoulder) will start practising again Tuesday but it’s unlikely he’ll get the green light for the Argo game. Burke said Chris Matthews, Anthony Woodson, Alex Suber, Alex Hall and Glenn January will all skip practice Tuesday because of an assortment of hurts, but will be available Friday.
Burke spent a good chunk of today’s session with the media listing all the mistakes in Saturday’s loss to Hamilton, but did say that Buck Pierce will remain at quarterback for the club. Asked at what point he might consider starting Justin Goltz, Burke said: "That would be quite a ways down the line."
Burke said that because the mistakes on offence are so widespread, it’s unfair to point all the fingers of blame at the starting pivot.
"It’s not all the quarterback’s fault that we’re not producing," said Burke. "If a receiver is supposed to be in a certain spot in his read and he’s not there, now he’s got to switch gears and go to the other side of the field. Obviously if an offensive lineman misses his block and he’s got no time to throw that’s not his fault either. Now, can Buck get better at what he’s doing? Of course he can."