HAMILTON — Steven Jyles has gone from backup quarterback to starter, learning from snap to snap and game to game, knowing full well his latest start could be his last.
Just how long Jyles will continue to line up under centre will depend in part in his ability to lead the Blue Bombers to wins and to a larger extent on the health of Buck Pierce.
Pierce never accompanied the team to Hamilton for Saturday night’s matchup at Ivor Wynne Stadium, which means Jyles will make his third starting assignment in as many weeks.
Under Jyles, the Bombers are 1-1 and are coming off a 23-20 loss in Calgary.
When he made his debut in Bombers blue, Jyles was extremely efficient in leading Winnipeg to its 47-21 win over Edmonton.
Against the Stamps, the Jyles-led offence produced 15 first downs.
With back-to-back games against Hamilton, the 2-3 Bombers can separate themselves from the 1-4 Ticats, but a lot will depend on Jyles.
“I’ve always prepared to play,” Jyles said. “You picture yourself out there on the field making plays. All you hope for is that chance to get out there.”
Pierce injured his right knee during Winnipeg’s visit to the Hammer in Week 3, a 28-7 win that stands out as the Ticats’ lone victory.
Jyles doesn’t know how long his run as the starter will last, but he sees improvement and likes the chemistry he’s developing.
“The ultimate goal is not to impress only the coaches, but everyone,’’ Jyles added. “You want to impress the fans, your family, you want to show them that you can play professional football.”