May 22, 2015


CFL

Draft picks are falling like flies for Blue

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers draft class of 2013 is getting smaller and smaller after news Saturday of yet another Bombers pick likely done for the season with an injury.

Bombers head coach Tim Burke announced Saturday that receiver Michael DiCroce -- a fourth-round pick by the Bombers in the CFL draft last month -- is likely done for year after breaking a bone in his foot in practice on Friday.

Head coach Tim Burke said the paucity of picks able to attend training camp  shows how difficult it can be to draft Canadian talent.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Head coach Tim Burke said the paucity of picks able to attend training camp shows how difficult it can be to draft Canadian talent. Photo Store

It was the same foot that DiCroce broke in university football last year and Burke said he will likely need surgery. "He's probably going to be out for the season," said Burke.

By Paul Wiecek

Given his previous injury history, Burke said the club was aware of the risk they were taking when they drafted DiCroce.

"That was one of the things we really studied when we drafted him -- Was it totally healthy? His doctor said it was. It's just one of those things."

The news on DiCroce comes after the club previously announced their second round pick -- defensive back Kris Robertson -- tore his ACL and is also done for the year.

On top of all that, receiver Stephen Alli -- the Bombers sixth round pick -- is also done for the year with a leg injury, although the Bombers at least knew that was the case when they drafted him.

And finally, there's defensive lineman Andy Mulumba, the Bombers first-round pick who is also not available to the team as Mulumba continues to try and crack the roster of the NFL's Green Bay Packers.

Put it altogether and only two of the six players the Bombers drafted last month -- punter Billy Pavlopoulos and fullback Carl Fitzgerald -- will actually be on the field at Investors Group Field when the team opens full training camp on Sunday.

"I'll tell you -- it's a lot harder to draft now," said Burke. "Look at all the teams -- how many guys are in NFL camps right now?...

"It's getting harder to draft Canadian talent, I think."

The announcement on DiCroce was the only major surprise on Saturday as the Bombers veterans all reported for their physicals.

Burke said everyone else passed their physicals with the exception of slotback Terrence Edwards, defensive back Johnny Sears and running back Anthony Woodson.

The Bombers knew Edwards (foot) and Sears (knee) would not pass their physicals. Burke said both men are still expected to be in the opening game of the regular season on June 27.

Burke said Woodson will miss the first few days of training camp this week with what he said is a non-football related health issue that Woodson would prefer to keep private.

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 2, 2013 B5

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