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HomeFootballCanadian Football League (CFL)CFL News: Off to 0-2 start, Blue Bombers aim to rebound vs....

CFL News: Off to 0-2 start, Blue Bombers aim to rebound vs. Lions

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The season is just two games old but the Winnipeg Blue Bombers aren’t resembling the squad that has made four consecutive Grey Cup appearances.

Winnipeg stands 0-2 for the first time since 2016 and will look to halt its slow start when it hosts the BC Lions on Friday night.

The Blue Bombers lost 27-12 to the Montreal Alouettes in a rematch of last season’s Grey Cup in their opening contest before falling 23-19 to the Ottawa Redblacks in Week 2.

Winnipeg is last in the CFL in scoring offense (15.5) and total offense (296.5). Quarterback Zach Collaros, a two-time player of the year, is completing just 54.7 percent of his passes for 494 yards and three interceptions. He has not thrown a touchdown pass.

“Obviously we’re nowhere near where we need to be,” Collaros said of the slow start. “There are many things to clean up, as there usually is at this point of the season. At times we’ve been able to overcome the lack of details and things like that in the past.”

Injuries are hurting the offense as standout running back Brady Oliveira (knee) and receiver Kenny Lawler (broken arm) were injured in Week 1. Oliveira is listed as questionable to play against the Lions but hasn’t practiced this week.

Winnipeg star defensive end Willie Jefferson said the Blue Bombers aren’t fretting.

“We’re not hitting the panic button,” Jefferson said. “We’ve got some great guys on the team — offense, defense and special teams — and we just need to start clicking.”

BC (1-1) evened its record with a 26-17 victory over the Calgary Stampeders in Week 2. Vernon Adams Jr. passed for 277 yards and two touchdowns and was named the CFL’s offensive player of the week.

Adams has completed 67.7 percent of his passes for 640 yards, four touchdowns and one interception in two games.

Adams is expecting a big challenge this week against Winnipeg, which won the Grey Cup title in 2019 and 2021 before losing in the championship game the past two seasons.

“We need to focus on what we need to do to beat a good team this week and not look at their record or anything like that,” Adams said. “This is a good team with a good system. It’s always a battle when we go over there.”

Lions linebacker Ben Hladik has a CFL-best 20 tackles.

BC receiver Jevon Cottoy (hamstring) has been ruled out of the contest.

–Field Level Media

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