December 10, 2019

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Bridge, Willy could figure in Blue Bombers' plans

Mark Taylor / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILES</p><p>Montreal Alouettes quarterback Drew Willy </p>

Mark Taylor / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILES

Montreal Alouettes quarterback Drew Willy

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are considering veteran free-agents Drew Willy and Brandon Bridge to supplement their quarterback depth, the Free Press has learned.

Winnipeg, which leads the CFL's West Division with a 7-2 record, suffered what could be a major setback in its quest for the Grey Cup when No. 1 quarterback Matt Nichols left Thursday’s 32-16 win over the B.C. Lions with an injury.

Nichols absorbed a big hit from Lions defensive end Shawn Lemon and landed awkwardly on his right arm and shoulder. The Blue Bombers, who return to practice this afternoon, have not commented on the specifics of Nichols' injury but No. 2 quarterback Chris Streveler is expected to get the start when the club travels to Edmonton for a crucial divisional matchup with the Eskimos Friday night.

Edmonton is 6-3 and second in the West.

The Blue Bombers reportedly talked to Kevin Glenn but the 40-year-old veteran has decided to stay retired.

Bridge, meanwhile, was released by the Montreal Alouettes late last month and is looking to continue his playing career while exploring all his options.

The 27-year-old Toronto product has CFL experience with Montreal, the Argonauts and Saskatchewan and has six career regular-season starts in four seasons, including four starts for the Roughriders in 2018. He also became the first Canadian since Gerry Datillio in 1984 to start a post-season game when he suited up for Saskatchewan's 23-18 loss to Winnipeg in the West semifinal.

He signed as a free agent with Argos prior to the 2019 season and was released after the pre-season only to return to the Alouettes in June following an injury to starter Antonio Pipkin. Montreal subsequently released him on July 31.

Willy, who has previous CFL experience with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Winnipeg, Toronto Argonauts, was cut loose by Montreal following the 2018 season.

The 32-year-old Randolph, N.J., product had four starts for the Alouettes, connecting on 77 of 113 passes for 566 yards, three touchdowns and one interception during an injury-riddled season in which he missed time due to a concussion and a hand issue.

Willy had a lengthy two-plus-season stint in Winnipeg before being traded to the Argos on Sept. 11, 2016 for a package including American defensive back T.J. Heath, a first-round draft pick in 2017 and a third-rounder in 2018.

He has a total of 43 CFL starts in seven seasons.

mike.sawatzky@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @sawa14

Mike Sawatzky

Mike Sawatzky
Sports Reporter

Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.

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