Bombers reeling from injuries

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:51 AM ET

WINNIPEG - Only the loss of a starting quarterback would be more devastating to this CFL offence.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have lost import all-star tailback Fred Reid for the season due to a torn ACL. Not only that but non-import backup tailback Carl Volny will also be out for the rest of the year with the same injury, both of which were suffered in Saturday’s 25-24 loss to the Argos in Toronto.

“There’s no question it hurts us big time,” Bombers GM Joe Mack said Monday. “It’s very disappointing to have to fight through, but we’re still in first place and we just have to move on.

“Losing both of them does hurt and it’s going to be a challenge.”

Losing Reid obviously leaves a gaping hole in the Winnipeg attack. Reid, 29, led the CFL in rushing last year and had 759 yards and four touchdowns on 181 rushes this season. Reid has also been one of Winnipeg’s most durable players. He had missed only one full game since 2007 and that was in 2008.

Import tailback Chris Garrett will replace Reid when Winnipeg plays host to the Montreal Alouettes, probably longer.

“We still have Chris Garrett here and we think he can do a good job,” Mack said. “He did a real good job when he got into a game for us last year. He’s got some skills and should be fine. And we’re bringing in (import running back) Bloi-Dei Dorzon this week. The only thing is, we’ll have to get them both up to speed.”

Garrett is a 5-foot-8, 185-pound speedster who had been looked at as more of a kick returner than tailback, did rush for 113 yards on 19 carries in a CFL game against Calgary last year. However, he was cut earlier this season, then brought back and placed on the practice roster.

WON'T MAKE TRADE

While Mack will continue to seek other import tailbacks, he was not planning to make a trade for someone like Calgary’s Joffrey Reynolds, a healthy scratch in Stampeders’ last game.

“We won’t make a trade (to replace) Fred right now,” Mack said.

Nor does he plan to send an SOS to former Edmonton Eskimos running back Arkee Whitlock, a free agent who has a close relationship with Bombers defensive back Jonathan Hefney.

“There have been some players lobbying for him (Whitlock),” admitted Mack, who may be in the market for a Canuck RB to replace Volny, though. “To be honest, there’s not a whole lot out there and any quality backs won’t likely be made available.”

Meanwhile, neither Bomber defensive tackle Doug Brown (shoulder) nor offensive guard Brendon LaBatte (neck) are expected to play against the Als, but could return the following week.

IN TRIBUTE: Jovon Johnson turned in a superb effort on both defence and punt returns on the three-year anniversary of his younger brother being shot and killed Saturday.

“It’s been on my mind a lot,” said Johnson, who paid tribute by returning one of his two interceptions for a touchdown. “It was probably more so this week than any other year.

“This year would’ve been the year that my little brother turned 18. He would’ve been going to college, and I just really thought about it a lot, that he never really got the opportunity to accomplish anything that he really wanted to do … With the help of my teammates and my girlfriend and everybody, it kind of made it a lot easier. But you still can never take back that memory that you have.”


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