You can bet it will take some time before Khari Jones will get his starting spot back -- even once he completely recovers from his mysterious shoulder ailment. Kevin Glenn, who has replaced Jones in the interim, is 3-1 as a starter for Winnipeg and had a save in relief of Jones in another. More importantly, Glenn has led the Blue Bombers to three straight victories.
"Kevin will start this week," Bombers head coach Jim Daley re-affirmed yesterday. "You can't take a man who's just coming off an injury after three weeks of being relatively inactive and replace the guy who's won three games in a row -- unless you have injuries to everybody. Let Khari get healthy. It's critical that he gets healthy for us."
Jones may not be ready to return for the game against the Alouettes in Montreal on Saturday anyway.
"He will need to throw and practise and work for a week or two before he's anywhere near the form of 2001," Daley said. "There's no need to rush Khari. There's not even an issue about who's playing (this) week."
The Bombers have been quite pleased with Glenn anyway. Glenn completed 23 of 32 passes for 329 yards, with one interception, as Winnipeg defeated the Toronto Argonauts 44-34 on Saturday. Glenn, 25, has gone 90-of-153 for 1,207 yards (58.8%) and six touchdowns, with four picks this season. Those may not be Casey Printers numbers and his percentage is only 2.8 better than Jones, but the 5-foot-10, 189-pound Illinois State product is getting the job done.
"(Glenn) is a really smart decision-maker who has a quick release of the ball and has an ability to understand and engineer calls versus various defensive looks," Daley said. "He's a very smart guy, athletically good. His pass delivery's good and his quick release helps us. So, he's a smart, skilled quarterback who is just getting better as time goes on."
Glenn's teammates also believe in him.
"He's seeing the field," said veteran slotback Jamie Stoddard. "Everything's slowing down for him. He's very comfortable with what we're doing, and we're not doing very much. We've got this base offence and Kevin's running it to a tee."
Glenn is also giving the Bombers the insurance they wanted in the event of injury to Jones when they acquired him from Saskatchewan (via Toronto) on the eve of training camp.
'BETTER THAN WE THOUGHT'
"He probably is a little better than what we thought," conceded Bombers GM Brendan Taman. "He's executing the offence really well and he and a lot of guys deserve a lot of credit for that.
"We thought he was a good quarterback who would help us when needed and would do things to help us win games.
He does his job and finds ways to win games."
But that could create a dilemma whenever Jones is ready to resume the starting role.
When discussing other injured players, such as Terry Ray and Eric Carter, Daley pointed out that they had to be patient while waiting for their chance to return, even after they had recovered. Until Jones gets completely better, that will remain a moot point.