Blue Bombers running back Simpson anxious to return, Brink says he's fine
WINNIPEG - Perhaps the Winnipeg Blue Bombers should replace the blue "W" on their helmets with a big red cross.
The hurting continues for the 0-3 Blue Bombers, who are now without quarterback Buck Pierce due to a foot injury. Backup Alex Brink is taking his place Wednesday in Toronto.
Thanks to injuries, the Bombers will play the Argos (1-2) minus right tackle Andre Douglas, slotback Cory Watson, linebackers Marcellus Bowman and Brandon Stewart, and defensive back Alex Suber.
In all, there were more than a dozen players on Winnipeg's combined injury list Monday and the Bombers still couldn't say exactly how long they'll be without Pierce's services.
But at practice Monday, there was at least one ray of sunshine piercing the gloomy grey skies above Canad Inns Stadium. Bomber coach Paul LaPolice is finally getting promising running back Chad Simpson into the lineup. He'll replace Bloi-Dei Dorzon, who was third on the depth chart before pre-season injuries removed both Simpson and the No. 1 tailback, Chris Garrett.
Dorzon has 108 yards on 24 carries, as well as five receiving yards. LaPolice says Simpson has more ability as a receiver coming out of the backfield.
"Certainly he's one of the most prepared pros we have, he said. "He's as smart a running back as I've seen in the last couple of years so I think he'll do a good job picking up things."
Simpson missed the first three games of the season due to a leg injury and says he's anxious to get on the field.
Not that he suggests he could have turned around the three Winnipeg losses.
"I really can't say what would have went differently but I know that some things should be different this game," he said.
He played three seasons in the NFL, but sat out 2011.
"I've been out a year so missing any games is going to hurt me," he said.
Brink also said he feels fine and able to lead the offence in Toronto. A hit in Edmonton last week bounced his head on the turf and led to talk of a possible concussion, but he insists he had no problems.
"Ready to go," he said. "We had a short week of prep but I think in this case it was good. It got guys focused on this week and kind of put last week to bed."
The humiliating 42-10 loss to the Eskimos was just the latest frustration as Winnipeg tries to get back some of the winning form it had early last season.
There are signs LaPolice has started to come down harder on a team that has made plenty of costly mistakes in those three opening losses — seven turnovers last Friday in Edmonton alone.
"Just because you're out there doesn't mean you're performing at a high level," said LaPolice.
He isn't shy about naming those he thinks are showing how the game should be played.
"Chris Matthews, that guy's getting a lot of plays because every he gets an opportunity he makes a play, he gets it right," said the coach.
"We've been talking a lot about the attention to details and if they don't, then you have to start making changes."