Pierce 'confident' for return vs Als

Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce, left, is sacked by BC Lions defensive end Keron...

Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce, left, is sacked by BC Lions defensive end Keron Williams during the first half of their CFL football game in Vancouver, British Columbia, June 29, 2012. (REUTERS/Andy Clark)

Ken Wiebe, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:35 PM ET

Buck Pierce believes his latest injury setback isn’t serious.

In fact, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback stepped off the plane in Winnipeg on Saturday and proclaimed he was “confident” he could return for Friday’s game against the Montreal Alouettes.

“It’s stiff right now. It’s still early, but I’m confident I’ll be okay to go next week,” said Pierce, who was still walking with a noticeable limp. “It can happen whenever and these things happen. I’m glad it’s not something worse.”

Pierce was banged up in the Blue Bombers season opener as he was on the receiving end of a plethora of hits while playing in front of a largely inexperienced offensive line and a running back that had his hands full in pass protection against a dominant Lions’ defensive front.

The initial blow that led to a limp occurred in the second quarter when Pierce knocked knees with Lions defensive end Eric Taylor.

Pierce was later sacked by Keron Williams and though he remained in the game for one more pass that was batted out of the air, that was his final series of the game.

After consultating with medical staff, Pierce was patted on the shoulder and you could tell his night was over.

Constantly under pressure, Pierce finished the game 3-for-9 for 11 yards passing and rushed three times for 23 yards.

“No, we didn’t execute the way we wanted to and we put our defence in a tough situation,” said Pierce, who watched the second half from the Blue Bombers locker room. “We had field position at times and didn’t do anything with it. We’ve got a ways to go. But that’s part of the process. It’s not one thing. We’ll be better.”

While Pierce may be confident in his return this week, head coach Paul LaPolice was a little more cautious.

“We’ll get the docs to check him out and see how he is,” said LaPolice. “I hope he’s healthy and ready to go. If he’s not, we’ll have to go in a different direction. He took a hit on his lower leg and it’s bruised up pretty good.”

Pierce is no stranger to taking big hits, but his departure raised some concerns.

“You never want to see anyone go down out there,” said Blue Bombers guard Steve Morley. “Buck is a fighter and I’m sure he’ll be back. You’ve got to feel for a guy like that.”

Pierce came into the season in the best shape of his career and is enamoured with offensive co-ordinator Gary Crowton’s playbook.

It won’t be known for a couple of days about the severity of Pierce’s injury, but given his history, you can be sure the Blue Bombers will take precautions (as they should).

Pierce’s toughness has never been in question, nor is it now.

Backup Alex Brink had some moments in relief on Friday, including a pair of drives that ended in touchdown receptions by Terrence Edwards and Chris Matthews respectively.

“As a backup, I always have to be ready.,” said Brink. “It’s tough when we see our leader go down like that. I mentally prepare every week like I’m going to play, whether that’s the case or not. I didn’t feel ill-prepared or anything like that going in.”

LaPolice admitted the end result was largely disappointing but wasn’t about to toss around blame to anyone in particular.

“I don’t think it’s all on the (offensive) line,” said LaPolice. “Our offence needs to play better. We have to put more points on the board.

“We need to play better. That’s not just Gary. It’s me. The players. It’s all of us. We’ll all get better.”

 


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