CFL

Canadians Riva, Matechuk could be joining Bomber injured

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The Canadian Press
7/31/2012 11:06:14 AM
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WINNIPEG -- Another day, another doctor's bill for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Nathan Riva looks like the latest casualty at running back. The 22-year-old native of LaSalle, Ont., hobbled off the field with help early in Tuesday's practice.

Coach Paul LaPolice says he pulled a hamstring and they're waiting for word on how long he might be out.

Canadian fullback Jordan Matechuk also hurt his hand during practice and that needs to be checked out as well.

LaPolice had to grimace at the CFL team's lousy luck.

"We may have lost two Canadian backs today, two trainers and an equipment guy," he said ruefully.

He explained that two members of their support staff were off sick and another lost an argument with a piece of equipment in the weight room.

Riva was behind starting tailback Chad Simpson on the depth chart and even Simpson isn't 100 per cent and doesn't practice fully with the team.

Second-year Canadian running back Carl Volny was practising Tuesday and is a possibility but his status is still uncertain. He was sidelined midway through the 2011 season with a torn ACL and hasn't seen action since.

Promising newcomer Anthony Woodson also might be out for the remainder with a shoulder injury he incurred at the start of the season.

So that could mean Will Ford gets plucked from the practice roster as a designated import.

"That (Riva) may be the third Canadian tailback injured so Ford may have to go," said LaPolice.

The Bomber injury bug just keeps biting.

Backup quarterback Alex Brink is starting for an injured Buck Pierce as the Bombers try for their second win of the season Friday against the Montreal Alouettes.

Pierce has been on the field during practice this week to keep his throwing arm in shape but isn't expected back until sometime after the team's bye week, which follows Friday's game.

Offensive lineman Andre Douglas showed up as a spectator Tuesday, as he waits for surgery to repair an injured ankle.

"My ligament comes out of place," he said. "It flaps around and has to be reattached."

Douglas was the team's outstanding rookie in 2010 and played all last season at left tackle.

The plan was to have him and fellow line veteran Glenn January play bookends at left and right tackle as the team tries to develop some young Canadian draft picks for the line.

"This is all just one big ball of bad luck," said a disappointed Douglas.

"For me it's very frustrating. I worked very hard in the off season and came in the best shape I've ever been in."

It also has been a problem for the Bombers. The line had trouble at the start of the season protecting their quarterback, although that seems to be improving with game experience.

And it has meant big playing time for rookie Oklahoma State import Jordan Taormina.

"(My) expectation was to get some playing time, I did not expect to start all these games that I did," he said after practice.

"I'm pretty much the only rookie that has got this much playing time."

He says he has received advice on staying focused and keeping his eyes open so he can see the whole field.

As for the Bombers' focus this week, it's on beating the Alouettes. A win would move the 1-4 Bombers into a tie with the 2-3 Alouettes in the CFL's East Division.

Veteran linebacker Jonathan Hefney says the defence did a better job in last week's 23-22 win over the Edmonton Eskimos but it must improve to beat the Alouettes.

"We just played hard," he said of the first home game and first win of the season for the Bombers.

"We ran to the ball hard. We did everything but we still made mistakes, which showed with them scoring points.

"We're just going to try to eliminate all the mistakes and everything will fall into place."

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Photo: CFL)

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(Photo: CFL)
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