TAKE a deep breath, and let's recite the Bombers' injury woes. Ready? Here we go: quarterbacks Max Hall (hand) and Buck Pierce (who knows) are out with an injury. Hall may be back in practice this week; Pierce probably won't be.
Offensive lineman Steve Morley is gone for a month while he gets a scope to probe his knee. Receiver Rory Kohlert could be out for weeks with a bad hamstring, and defensive back Demond Washington is day to day with some hamstring pain of his own, and might not be able to figure into Sunday's game in Regina.
That's not all: Defensive tackle Zach Anderson's knee was bothering him, but he should be back for Friday's practice. Linebacker Ian Wild was sick at practice Wednesday, and tackle Glenn January was, too, and defensive end Alex Hall was banged up but is expected back soon. Then there's the regular list of walking wounded -- receiver Chris Matthews and defensive tackle JT Gilmore -- though the good news is slotback Cory Watson could be ready to play if he stays healthy in practice all week, and tackle Andre Douglas is likely to come off the injury roster to take Shannon Boatman's place.
Err, yikes. "It's part of the game," head coach Tim Burke said of his decimated roster. "Just gotta roll with the punches."
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Two weeks after his demotion, quarerback Justin Goltz was running the offence again at Wednesday's practice, with Hall and Pierce both out. Although coaches didn't tell him he would start against the Roughriders on Sunday, Burke agreed that will probably be the case -- though nothing is writ in stone. "Nobody's been promised anything," he said. "If Max comes back tomorrow and has a good day, then that could change. If doctors reverse the decision on Buck, that can change, but I don't think that'll happen."
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As for Jason Boltus, the former Ticats backup pivot who joined the Bombers for the first time on Wednesday, Burke was pleased to see how quickly he picked up the offensive schemes. Beyond that, the plan with him is a simple wait-and-see. "Right now, we're just looking to make sure we shore up any short-term problems," he said. "If he comes out and he does a great job, who knows?"