Last laugh for Lion?

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 5:23 PM ET

It appears Wally Buono is trying to avoid a quarterback controversy this week.

The B.C. Lions head coach has publicly stated the quarterback situation will remain status quo for Friday night's huge tilt against the Edmonton Eskimos at Commonwealth Stadium.

That apparently means Casey Printers will continue to start for the Leos, a club that needs just one win to clinch first place and the much coveted bye in the first week of the playoffs and home-field advantage in the West Final.

However, Buono hasn't told Printers he will start Friday - and Dave Dickenson is still hoping he can return to the roster this week after suffering a concussion against the Saskatchewan Roughriders nearly four weeks ago.

So, the quarterback issue isn't completely clear.

But what is clear is Printers' desire to make his critics look foolish.

A shoulder injury kept last year's CFL Most Outstanding Player on the sidelines for almost six weeks during this summer and early fall.

Reporters and football fans across the country have had a field day with the injury, giving Printers quite a verbal beating.

When he returned to the field in the second week in October after Dickenson suffered his concussion, the speculation and comments continued.

It is still happening.

WONDER ABOUT TIMING

Some people question if he was really hurt. Some wonder about the timing of his recovery, just after Dickenson got injured.

"Nobody knows what I am going through," said Printers of his still-lingering injury to his throwing shoulder.

"I am not a whiner, I'm not a complainer.

"Hey, say what you want, but at the end of the day I guarantee I will have the last laugh."

To the naked eye, things do look suspicious. Printers has looked brilliant in his last two games, throwing for 660 yards and eight touchdowns after sitting on the sidelines not healthy enough to dress for weeks.

SINCE MARCH

But the 24-year-old vehemently states he has been battling shoulder problems since March and needed to take off the end of August, the entire month of September and early October to help his damaged wing.

"If I was physically able to play I would have been playing," he said.

"Regardless of what anybody says they have no idea what is going on with my body.

"I guess that was (the media's) opportunity to take cheap shots at me and that is fine, but I have to be the bigger person and stand up and say, 'Hey, if I am not able to play, I'm not able to play.'"

Printers has a shoulder impingement problem, which is described as pain caused by pressure on the rotator cuff from a portion of the shoulder blade.

Baseball pitchers deal with this problem.

"I wasn't able to raise my arm," continued Printers, describing his condition at his lowest moment this year.

"I couldn't sleep on my right side."

Lion receiver Jason Clermont - who is about as tough as they come in the CFL - doesn't question his quarterback's toughness or pain threshold.

"You know this guy is a warrior," said Clermont.

"He fought all season last year with one of the worst cases of turf toe. It was horrible; it was disgusting.

"So, I knew if he wasn't out there throwing (this year) there had to be a reason."

With Printers likely calling the signals on Friday night, the Eskimos are hoping he doesn't make them look horrible.


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