Bombers' ' season of injury'

Argos defenders Ejiro Kuale (middle) and Jason Pottinger tackle Blue Bombers running back Fred Reid...

Argos defenders Ejiro Kuale (middle) and Jason Pottinger tackle Blue Bombers running back Fred Reid on Saturday. Reid is done for the year with a knee injury. (DAVE THOMAS/QMI Agency)

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:46 AM ET

WINNIPEG - The guy was about to put a grinder in my mouth, but before he did he wanted to share a thought on the Blue Bombers.

“A season of promise is fast become a season of injury,” he said. “Just like last year.”

Yes, the Bombers are the talk of the town, even in the dental office, these days. But for all the wrong reasons.

Chew on this for a minute: the Big Blue not only lost another game to the worst team in the CFL on the weekend, they also lost running back Fred Reid for the season, a torn ACL putting Fast Freddie on the shelf for the next six months, or so.

If that wasn’t enough, his backup, a Canadian kid named Carl Volny who actually looked like an American in relief, tore one of his, too. Chris Garrett, come on down.

Meanwhile, some eerie deja vu was going on at the quarterback position in the loss to the Argonauts.

Where most teams never see their No. 3 man take any snaps in anger, Coach LaPo’s Bombers go through pivots like pairs of socks.

When Buck Pierce and Alex Brink fell apart in Toronto, the Bombers were down to Justin Goltz, their No. 4 signal caller of the year (remember, No. 2 man Joey Elliott started the ACL club a few weeks ago).

How much worse this toothache gets is anybody’s guess.

Pierce continues to be held together by elastics, now hit-and-miss to play every week, it seems. Maybe resting him against Montreal in the previous game wouldn’t have been such a bad idea.

Because bruised ribs won’t heal if they keep getting landed on by 300-pounders with ill intentions. It’s not a stretch to say Pierce could be dealing with this the rest of the season.

When you think how much Coach LaPo’s offence has struggled when all the parts are healthy, you shudder at the possibilities.

This wouldn’t be quite as alarming if every other part of Winnipeg’s game was humming along with precision.

But when you still can’t return a kick to save your life — or preserve a 24-24 tie — and every change of field position favours the other guys by 20-25 yards, you need a handicapped offence like a hole in a molar.

Or like a blocked punt.

So it’ll be left to the defence to preserve that fast-decaying lead over the Alouettes in the CFL East, I suppose.

That’s right, suddenly first place is on the line here, this Friday, any cushion the Bombers had flattened by three losses in four games, to teams with a combined 7-17 record.

It wasn’t long ago it was first place or bust for this crew.

Maybe this is the bust.

It’s too soon to say the 2011 edition is doomed to repeat the failure of the last 20 Bomber squads.

But those who believe in a curse of some kind must be wondering who has the blue and gold voodoo doll.

Maybe it was the firing of Cal Murphy in the mid-1990s. Or maybe dumping Bomber great Ken Ploen from the front office a few years later so offended the football gods they’ve had it in for this franchise ever since.

A few weeks ago, this looked like a Grey Cup contender.

A pile of X-rays and MRIs later, we’re not sure what it’s going to look like when it steps back onto the field for practice, Tuesday, let alone for Friday’s game.

I guess we’ll find out if Mr. Mack, the elusive GM, can find players as easily as he thinks he can. If American running backs are a dime a dozen, he might want to bring in at least a nickel’s worth.

I’m guessing Mack would rather not be testing those skills with October looming.

Considering he might be looking for another quarterback, too, and it’s probably safe to say he’d prefer a root canal.


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