Well, fellow Swaggerville fans, just when we thought our current state couldn't get much worse, think again.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have announced today that they are placing Joe Lobendahn on the nine-game injured list after he was injured in the Bombers' 45-23 loss in the annual Banjo Bowl against the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sunday. With only eight games left in the season, this pushes Lobendahn's timeline for returning to the field to next season.
Lobendahn was injured on a special teams play during the first half of the game at Canad Inns Stadium in Winnipeg. He was carted off the field before halftime and is listed with a torn right ACL.
Fellow Bombers players were quite sombre after the game was finished.
"Man, that really hurt," Blue Bombers linebacker Clint Kent said. "I hope he's OK. Joe is the quarterback of our defence, without question. He's smart and he's a playmaker. We're going to have to look at what we have, groom some guys, and go from there. It's not good."
The Bombers, whose defence has been looking like anything but Swaggerville in these back-to-back games against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, are not looking forward to missing the two-time Defensive Player of the Week heading into Sunday's matchup against the two-time Grey Cup-defending Montreal Alouettes, where the winner takes the division lead.
On the offensive side of the ball, things aren't looking much better either.
The Bombers also announced today that starting QB Buck Pierce may not be able to play in Sundays matchup after taking two bone-crushing sacks in the first quarter of the Banjo Bowl, resulting in bruised ribs. However, Pierce did stay in the rest of the game, throwing 0 TD's and 5 INT's.
“He came off the field,” said head coach Paul LaPolice. “And I said, ‘You fine?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I’m fine.’ The next series I think he was three for three.”
When asked what the status of Pierce was for Sunday's game, LaPolice said it would be a day-to-day decision.
“He’s banged up and sore but I think he’ll be OK,” LaPolice said. “But we’ll know better in the next couple of days…He was just kind of limping around after the game and he got hit in the stomach or wherever he got hit so, we’ll see how he is."
LaPolice has also stated that the coaching staff is considering changes to the starting offensive line for the game against Montreal. The Bomber's are now second worst in the league in sacks allowed with 24.
“There were a couple of times that the players weren’t executing the way they were supposed to,” he said. “All those players understand that there’s competition for those spots and if there’s continuing poor performances, we’ll have to make changes.”
“We’ve got to be better protecting (Pierce) and getting the run game going,” Bombers guard Brendon LaBatte said after the loss. “Everybody in this room has to look at themselves and be ready to get better."
There were reports of Pierce seen being helped out to his car after the game on Sunday. The QB was able to drive himself home however. Pierce will be available for questions after Wednesday's practice.