Pivotal problem for Bombers

Winnipeg Blue Bombers starter Buck Pierce left Thursday’s 21-20 loss to the Calgary Stampeders at...

Winnipeg Blue Bombers starter Buck Pierce left Thursday’s 21-20 loss to the Calgary Stampeders at half time with a quadriceps contusion. (MARCEL CRETAIN/QMI Agency)

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:06 PM ET

Quarterbacks might not answer the phone anymore when they see Joe Mack’s name on the caller ID.

The Bomber GM has been on the job for only 21 games, and he’s already lost four starting pivots to season-ending injuries.

Three went down in the second half of 2010, and backup Joey Elliott was lost for the 2011 season on Thursday.

“We haven’t had a lot of luck,” Mack said Sunday. “That’s just the nature of football, and you have to get the people behind him to step up and make the team realize that hey, everybody has to be that much more efficient and productive to compensate for that.”

While the news was not good for Elliott, Mack said the situation is looking up for starter Buck Pierce, who left Thursday’s 21-20 loss to the Calgary Stampeders at half time with a quadriceps contusion.

“I spoke to him. He seems fine. He seems good,” Mack said. “We may keep him out an extra practice (Monday) just to let that quad calm down a little bit and we’ll probably make an assessment Tuesday or Wednesday.

“He seems good. He says he’s good. He’s a little bit sore, but besides that we think the odds are good he’ll be playing this week.”

The Bombers (2-1) visit the Toronto Argonauts (1-2) on Saturday.

If Pierce can’t go, third-stringer Alex Brink would get the start against the Boatmen. He completed only four of 18 attempts for 61 yards in his first and only CFL start last season before getting pulled in favour of Steven Jyles, who was traded to Toronto in the off-season.

Not even Mack can say if Brink, who broke his collarbone in late October, has gotten any better since his disastrous start last October.

“We don’t know that yet. We hope everybody improves the more they’re with the coaches and the more practice they have,” he said. “I still think Alex has some real talent. He’s a much better athlete than people realize, he’s got a strong arm, he’s a hard worker, and he’s intelligent.

“We hope we don’t find out too soon because we hope that Buck will play for a long period of time without any injuries or any mishaps.”

After Brink the Bombers have Brandon Summers and Justin Goltz, both of whom have never thrown a CFL pass, in their quarterback stable.

And those are the horses with which Mack plans to run.

“Where else are you going to turn to where you have a chance to make a difference?” Mack said. “When going through all the (free agent quarterbacks), I can’t think of anybody being out there that at least has more talent than what we have on our roster right now.”


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