Winnipeg’s loss to the lowly Toronto Argonauts on Saturday night may have cost the Blue Bombers more than just two points.
The at-times bizarre 25-24 defeat, on a single off a missed Argo field goal, also produced at least five injuries to key members of the Bombers.
Quarterback Buck Pierce injured his ribs early in the game and eventually had to pull himself out. His replacement, Alex Brink, went down late with a shoulder problem.
Running backs Fred Reid (leg) and his backup, Carl Volny (also a leg) were both unable to finish the contest.
Brendon LaBatte, a key member of the offensive line at left guard, also left with a shoulder injury.
It will be Pierce’s injury the fans of the now 8-4 club will most be watching.
“It was tenderness in the ribs,” said Pierce, after the game. “I took a shot early and it stiffened up on me pretty quick.”
Pierce was sitting on 7-of-13 passing for 68 yards when he left just before halftime. Brink had a strong second half at 10-of-13 and 121 yards, when he went down later in the fourth quarter.
Justin Goltz, who had never thrown a CFL pass, was 3-of-6, 36 yards and a touchdown finishing the game.
"You never expect anything like that to happen,” Pierce said. “I thought our backup guys, they came in and did a job."
The Bombers host Montreal on Friday night at home in what will be a battle for first place in the East, and Pierce isn’t sure yet if he’ll play.
“It’s real, real early right now,” he said. “We have a few days, they’ll look at it and we’ll see how it feels. “We have a short week but I’ll do everything in my power to be ready.”
Toronto starter Steven Jyles also didn’t finish the game, though he made it most of the way through before a numb throwing hand, caused by a hit, forced coach Jim Barker to pull him for Dalton Bell.
Bell led the final drive that resulted in a missed field goal and the game-winning point.