Jim Daley rushed back to his Calgary home due to a "family emergency" and missed yesterday's practice.
Although it is believed that his dog, Mac -- who had been suffering from cancer -- died, no one in the Blue Bombers organization would confirm it -- at Daley's request.
The Winnipeg head coach is expected to return in time for this morning's practice.
"It just seems to be one thing piling on top of another for him," sympathized offensive co-ordinator Mike Gibson, who took over yesterday's session.
And that includes worrying about his dying dog.
"You've seen him, he's happiest when that dog is around," Gibson said. "He is a soothing influence."
But Gibson also admired the way Daley has handled such adversity as losing defensive co-ordinator Rod Rust in August and the burden of a losing season while rebuilding -- which has led to an uncertain future.
Wouldn't have known
"In the confines of that building and the confines of that practice field, you wouldn't have known that any of those things have happened as far as the way he deals with it," Gibson said. "Internally, I don't know how he is but externally, everything is just like status quo.
"He's done a remarkable job just keeping it all together. With the exception of last week (in Vancouver), this team has played hard, week in and week out. You put a lot of people in his shoes and go through what he's gone through this year, I don't know if they would be as resilient as he is."