Injuries in Bombers' secondary of primary concern

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:22 AM ET

When Chris Smith woke up on Friday morning, the rookie linebacker probably didn’t think he would finish his first pro football game playing safety.

But that’s exactly where the fourth-round draft pick wound up at the conclusion of the 49-29 win over Hamilton thanks to a rash of injuries in the Bomber secondary.

“I don’t know who was playing defensive back for us at the end of the game,” head coach Paul LaPolice said after the game. “We had a bunch of injuries, and the guys still found a way to make plays.”

Dime back Keyuo Craver appears to have the most serious injury. LaPolice said Saturday that the veteran’s knee requires further evaluation, which is usually not good news.

Cornerback LaVar Glover left the game with a hip contusion but is expected to be fine, as is backup safety Shawn Gallant, who went down with a knee issue.

The Bombers have defensive back Clint Kent eligible to return to the lineup next week. He missed Friday’s game with a groin problem.

TAKE TWO?

LaPolice admitted he made a mistake when he elected to have Alexis Serna attempt a 49-yard field goal with the Bombers leading 31-15 early in the fourth quarter.

Serna missed, and Marcus Thigpen returned it 118 yards for a touchdown that had the potential to turn the tide.

“That’s probably a bad decision by myself with a big lead,” LaPolice said. “We should’ve just punted it and put it back there when you’ve got a decent lead and your defence is playing so well.”

LaPolice said on Thigpen’s score to start the game the Bombers ended up with two players in the same blocking “alley,” allowing the Hamilton returner to break free, and that it will be corrected. It was Hamilton’s first kickoff return touchdown since Cornell Burbage did it in 1994.

OH SNAP!

LaPolice spread the blame when asked about Serna’s 3-for-6 night in the field goal department. He pointed to both Serna and rookie long snapper Adam Bestard, who made his pro debut in place of the injured Chris Cvetkovic.

“The snaps were poor on one or two of them,” LaPolice said. “(Serna) has just gotta get in his rhythm. Sometimes that’s going to happen. You gotta stay in rhythm.”

LATE HITS: Middle linebacker Joe Lobendahn doubled his career sack total on Friday, going from two to four in his 20th CFL game … Rookie receivers Terrence Jeffers-Harris (three catches for 20 yards) and Cory Watson (one for 15) picked up their first CFL receptions against the Tabbies … Buck Pierce’s quarterback rating after one game is 133.9 … Bombers assistant GM Ross Hodgkinson said Saturday there was nothing new to report on the Derrick Doggett front … The Bombers return to the practice field on Monday.


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