Quarterback Dru Brown appears in line to make his second career CFL start on Friday as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers visit the Calgary Stampeders.
Brown relieved Zach Collaros (neck) and completed 17 of 24 passes for 307 yards and four touchdowns to help Winnipeg (7-2) overcome a 22-point deficit in a 38-29 victory over the winless Edmonton Elks on Aug. 10.
Collaros, the two-time reigning CFL Most Outstanding Player, did not practice Monday and Tuesday due to the injury. Blue Bombers coach Mike O’Shea, however, did little to shed light on the situation when addressing Collaros’ condition.
“It’s for the player’s benefit,” O’Shea said. “There’s no benefit in me talking about that. I want to give the player as much hope as possible, too. For me to stand up here and say a player will not be playing, it’s a letdown. They hold out so much hope.
“Every day, when they show up for treatment, they’re looking for a positive response … and it just fuels them further. Why dash their hopes?”
Brown’s performance landed him the top quarterback grade in the CFL’s weekly honor roll, while teammate Brady Oliveira was selected as the top running back after rushing 14 times for 110 yards.
The high-octane Blue Bombers have sandwiched victories over the Elks around a 50-14 shellacking of the B.C. Lions on Aug. 3 to move into a tie atop the West Division.
The Stampeders (3-6) enter Friday’s clash on the heels of a demoralizing 37-9 loss to the Lions last week.
Jake Maier completed 17 of 31 passes for just 131 yards while the team was penalized 11 times for 130 yards.
“We’re in this together, you can’t point the finger at one individual thing or person or aspect in why we’re here as a team, you have to stay together and I’m really grateful that we are together,” Maier said, per the Calgary Sun. “I’ve been part of some losing teams before where that’s not the case.
“It’s very easy to point the finger when things aren’t going well and play the blame game. I don’t get that sense at all. Even though we are where we are with our record, the character of the group is great.”
Dedrick Mills rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown in the Stampeders’ 24-11 loss to the Blue Bombers on July 7.
–Field Level Media