WINNIPEG - While the Blue Bombers were indeed desperate to fly in some new quarterbacks, the latest was likely on his way anyway.
Winnipeg added import quarterback Frank Wilczynski to its practice roster on Monday but he has been on their radar since training camp.
“He’s been on our neg list for a long time and someone we wanted to hold on to,” said Bomber head coach Paul LaPolice. “We were trying to get him up here for this week anyway.”
They may have tried a little harder after losing both starting QB Steven Jyles and backup Alex Brink to shoulder injuries suffered during Saturday’s loss to the Toronto Argonauts.
Wilczynski is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound Rowan product who had previously played receiver for the University of Delaware. Wilczynski, 24, completed 117 of 207 passes for 1,456 yards and 11 touchdowns in his senior year. He was also the school’s top rusher, with 793 yards and 15 touchdowns on 91 carries. Wilczynski, who should be at Tuesday’s practice, holds the school records for career rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,596 yards on 207 rushes and most rushing touchdowns in a season with 15. He was a New Jersey Athletic Conference All-Conference first team selection.
“He’s really athletic and can really run with the football,” said LaPolice, whose friend coached Wilczynski at Delaware.
The Bombers will likely bring in another quarterback and are reportedly chasing Shane Boyd, a Kentucky product who attended the Montreal Alouettes training camp in 2009. LaPolice, however, politely declined to confirm that Boyd is the one the CFL club is still pursuing.
Regardless, Joey Elliott — who entered Saturday’s game as a third-stringer — will be the starter when the Bombers play the Eskimos in Edmonton this Saturday.
“He’s got some tools, but he’ll be under the fire,” LaPolice said. “If you think about it, he wasn’t here in training camp. So he has never even had a pre-season game. Those were his first live reps (Saturday).”
Elliott completed eight of 16 passes for 75 yards and one interception in just a little more than a quarter of play Saturday.
NOTING: Due to the expected inclement weather, the Bombers will practise at the Winnipeg Indoor Soccer Complex on Tuesday.