'Injury' still unclearPuzzling quarterback saga in puzzling Bomber season
By PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun
We begin today's column with a twist to the old tree-falls-in-a-forest question: if a CFL quarterback is injured, but nobody is around to hear about it, how badly is he hurt?
We ask this on the heels of a bizarre saga that's unfolded at Winnipeg Blue Bomber camp this week.
It actually began after Thursday's loss to Montreal, in which starter Khari Jones was pulled for the fourth time this season.
Word filtered out Jones had been hurt in the first half, and on the weekend head coach Jim Daley said doctors found tendinitis in his throwing shoulder.
When the players reported for work this week, there was obviously something wrong, because Jones wasn't throwing. However, he was coy about what was wrong, not ready to confirm the diagnosis.
Yesterday, Jones said he still wasn't sure.
"It probably is, but it may not be," Jones said. "I'm trying to figure out what it is as much as everybody else."
Jones says doctors raised a couple of other possibilities, but he didn't want to get into them. Apparently, they weren't good.
"Hopefully (tendinitis) is all it is," Jones said. "And if it's not, we'll address that when it comes."
OK, so what Jones has is a suspected case of tendinitis.
Here's the real puzzling part, though: Jones also says his shoulder has been bothering him for a while -- as far back as the third or fourth week of the season.
Now, am I the only one wondering why in blazes it took so long for this little tidbit to surface?
You've got an offence that's struggled all season, a quarterback who looks nothing like the 2001 CFL most outstanding player, and for weeks nobody knows he's playing hurt?
"Since Friday," was Daley's response to a question about how long he's known.
Shouldn't the team paying its quarterback some $325,000 this season have a better handle on its investment?
"I talked to him a couple of weeks back... because he didn't look like he had the zip on the ball I'd been accustomed to seeing him play with," Daley said. "But he, at that point, didn't think he (was hurt) -- just the usual fatigue and bumps and bruises. Nor did our training staff.
"The earlier it would have surfaced and been clarified, the better."
But Daley says he's not surprised, because players often play through injuries without realizing how serious they are.
And here I am, wondering if the Bombers, in danger of missing the playoffs with a miserable 3-7 record, might have frittered away a win or two because they didn't realize their quarterback was hurt.
"That's just speculation," Daley said. "So you can't spend your time worrying about it."
The way I see it, one of two things should have happened here.
Jones should have gone to the team's medical staff sooner, or the Bombers should have had him checked out earlier.
Jones says he brought it up after three or four weeks, but things improved.
"I try to block it out and play through it," Jones said. "But yeah, there's certain throws I don't feel like I can make, or that don't go where I want them to go. That could be a cause, I don't know.
"I've had shoulder stuff before, and I've had other stuff before. I've been able to play through all of them and play effectively. I don't think that's an excuse for why we haven't been winning."
It's hard to fault a player for trying to play through an injury. And to Jones' credit, he's never used one as an excuse.
But why the Bombers waited this long to get a diagnosis, and why they're so eager to call it tendinitis, is just one more puzzling item in a puzzling season.
I'll tell you one thing: It's sure a convenient way to begin using Kevin Glenn.