Blue Bombers QB Pierce back at practice
Buck Pierce was back throwing long passes and moving around the field with his Winnipeg Blue Bomber teammates Thursday.
And he showed a sense of humour, too.
After practice, Pierce stopped to talk to a group of waiting reporters.
"Wonder what you're going to ask?" Pierce said with a smile.
He then explained the ribs he bruised in last Sunday's 45-23 loss to Saskatchewan were still sore but he was aiming to play Sunday in Montreal.
"In my mind I'm playing," Pierce said after taking the majority of reps with the first-team offence. "I approach practice like I'm playing and preparing like I'm ready to go play."
Pierce sat out Wednesday's practice and told reporters he'd need two good days of practice to know if he was ready for the key game.
The Bombers have dropped to 7-3 after two straight losses and first place in the East Division will be on the line when they face the 6-4 Alouettes.
Pierce said he suffered the rib injury when a Roughriders defender hit him in the side with his knee while he was scrambling early in the first quarter.
"I'm sure the other hits didn't help, either," the seven-year veteran added.
Later in the same quarter, Pierce was the victim of a huge sack by Saskatchewan rookie safety Craig Butler, who barrelled untouched into him and sent Pierce's helmet flying off.
The Bombers held a 10-0 lead after the first. But Pierce went on to throw a career-high five interceptions and was pulled late in the game and replaced by Alex Brink.
Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice was taking a wait-and-see approach with his often-injured quarterback, who dislocated the elbow of his throwing arm last September and missed the remainder of the season.
"I'll see how he is [Friday]," LaPolice said. "We'll see how he throws and reacts to everything that's happened to him and see how it goes from there."
Brink is ready to take Pierce's place if he gets the call.
"Knowing Buck, I expect him to be out there," Brink said. "Either way, I'll be ready to go."
LaPolice has already been juggling his roster following the loss to Saskatchewan.
Middle linebacker Joe Lobendahn, twice a CFL defensive player of the week this season, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the game and is being replaced by Marcellus Bowman.
Bowman only played the middle position in one game early this season but the second-year player is looking forward to the challenge.
"It's some big shoes to fill, but the bigger the shoes, the more motivation," said Bowman. "I don't really feel pressure to necessarily play as well as Joe.
"I set my own standards and I feel that nobody really sets standards higher than I do, so whatever Joe did I'm trying to do what he did and do more."
The receiving corps also took a hit against the Riders.
Non-import Kito Poblah, the No. 1 pick in this year's CFL supplemental draft, hurt his shoulder. He won't play this week "and maybe longer," LaPolice said.
Poblah has already missed seven games with a torn posterior cruciate ligament in his knee. He came off the nine-game injured list early for the Sept. 4 game against Saskatchewan.
Non-import receiver Aaron Hargreaves, who's recovering from an ankle injury, was practising Thursday and splitting time with rookie Jade Etienne.
Defensive back Jonathan Hefney and receiver Terrence Edwards are both nursing bruised thighs but are expected to play against Montreal.