Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice made it official on Sunday: They have lost quarterbacks Steven Jyles and Alex Brink for the remainder of the season.
Jyles has a suspected separated right shoulder, while Brink has a broken right collarbone.
Brink actually threw five passes in Saturday’s 27-8 loss to the Toronto Argonauts with the break — and completed four of them.
The injuries mean the Blue and Gold need two quarterbacks to play behind new No. 1 Joey Elliott for the team’s two remaining meaningless games.
Elliott, the team’s fourth-string quarterback who signed with the club in July after original No. 1 Buck Pierce went down with a knee injury, will start against the Eskimos on Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium
LaPolice would like to have at least one experienced CFL signal caller in his quarterback stable, but he all but ruled out CFL veterans Casey Printers and Kerry Joseph.
“We’ll see how today goes,” LaPolice said Sunday. “There’s some people we’ve targeted, but unless we can’t get anyone with any experience we may research those guys.
“But right now we’re trying to keep all our options open and try to get maybe some guys you could actually look at (for the future), too, in practice.”
Adam DiMichele, who took part in Bomber training camp this year, is on the list of quarterbacks they’re considering, LaPolice said.
A CFL source said former Argos quarterback Cody Pickett turned down an offer on Sunday to join the Blue and Gold.
Sportsnet reported that Winnipeg was offering $4,000 per week and up to $5,000 if he started.
Other recent CFL pivots not currently on a roster include Zac Champion, Stephen Reaves and Barrick Nealy.
Meanwhile, LaPolice said the Bombers had been negotiating with an unidentified quarterback for the past two weeks and were planning to bring him to town this week anyway. He is expected to sign with the club on Monday.
One possible identity of that quarterback is Shane Boyd, the former Kentucky Wildcats pivot who has bounced around several leagues since turning pro five years ago. He attended Montreal Alouettes training camp in 2009 but was released at its conclusion.
Jyles got hurt in the first quarter and Brink went down in the third of Saturday’s loss, which officially eliminated the Bombers (4-12) from playoff contention.
With so little time left in the season and the Bombers having nothing to play for, the list of pivots wanting to sign for two weeks might not be a long one.
“This is uncharted territory for me, that a one and a two go down in the course of a game,” LaPolice said. “This late in the year, with the NFL playing right now and now the UFL playing and people kinda not wanting to probably come up for two weeks, yeah, it’s a shorter group.”
As for Elliott, who played his college ball at Purdue, LaPolice said the 6-foot-2, 216-pound 24-year-old has the kind of attitude coaches love.
“He’s got that savvy leadership as a quarterback,” LaPolice said. “Even though he doesn’t get a lot of reps, if a guy’s doing the wrong thing he’ll be in the meeting and say, ‘Hey, you’re supposed to break this at 12 yards.’
“He’s got that moxie to him. He sees things and throws the ball. There were a couple throws he took (Saturday) night where he recognized the coverage and he just whipped it out there.”
Elliott completed eight of 16 attempts for 75 yards and one interception against the Argos.