Pierce excited about facing Lions

Blue Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce is the CFL’s offensive player of the week. (CHRIS PROCAYLO/QMI...

Blue Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce is the CFL’s offensive player of the week. (CHRIS PROCAYLO/QMI Agency file photo)

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:05 AM ET

WINNIPEG - As the sudden passing of Richard Harris shows, football is ultimately more about the relationships than the game.

That’s why Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce is going to be a little more jacked than usual to face his former team, the B.C. Lions, for the first time on Thursday night.

“I’ll be fired up. I’ll be excited just to go out there and perform,” Pierce said before Tuesday’s tragic events. “It’s different than any other week for me, because I was excited to play them last year. It’s friendly competition, and it means something now.”

Pierce missed both games against the Leos last season because they occurred after he dislocated his elbow. Although his five years in B.C. was marred by injury, he did capture a Grey Cup and won more starts than he lost.

And even though the Lions released him in March 2010, Pierce has no ill will for his former employer.

“It’s a great place that molded me as a player,” Pierce said. “I wouldn’t change my path for anything. Wally (Buono) gave me an opportunity as a young kid that a lot of teams didn’t take a chance on.

“He believed in me, and I really enjoyed my time there.”

REWARDING: Pierce and receiver Cory Watson were named CFL players of the week on Tuesday.

Offensive nod

Pierce got the offensive nod after throwing for 361 yards and three touchdowns in Winnipeg’s 33-24 win over Toronto, while Watson was named the week’s top Canadian after hauling in seven passes for 75 yards.

Watson didn’t practise on Thursday due to a knee injury, but head coach Paul LaPolice said he’ll be ready to go on Thursday.

ROSTER MOVES: Bombers middle linebacker Joe Lobendahn won’t be able to play against the Lions (0-4) due to an ankle sprain.

Weak-side linebacker Marcellus Bowman will move over to the middle, while backup Merrill Johnson will start in Bowman’s spot.

Bowman has never played in the middle before and has spent the last few days cramming, as it’s his responsibility to make the play calls and any needed adjustments.

“My week has been interesting,” Bowman said. “I’ve been thinking about it constantly. I like to pride myself on if I prepare then I’ll be comfortable during the game.

“So I’m preparing extra hard this week so there’s no drop off in the fact that JoLo’s gone.”

RULING MADE: Lobendahn will not be fined for what appeared to be a helmet-to-helmet hit on Argos quarterback Cleo Lemon on Saturday.

The CFL ruled there was no evidence that showed Lobendahn delivered a blow with his helmet to Lemon’s helmet. Lemon, whose helmet popped off, left the game with a tooth injury.


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