Pierce cleared to play for Bombers
Buck Pierce is a go for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers but the Toronto Argonauts can’t say the same about Ricky Ray and Chad Kackert just yet.
Pierce yesterday received medical clearance to resume playing and will start tomorrow night at Rogers Centre against Toronto.
Ray has missed three games with his injury while Kackert has been out two weeks.
Both practised yesterday but Argos’ head coach Scott Milanovich said the players would be re-examined later in the day and the club wouldn’t know until today’s walkthrough if either will suit up against Winnipeg.
“I’m optimistic he [Ray] is going to play,” Milanovich told reporters following yesterday’s practice in Oakville, Ont.
“It’s not official until he goes through the process and we expect to have a definitive answer [Thursday].
“I think Chad is going to be able to go,” Milanovich added. “He needs to see the doctor but I’m very optimistic he’ll be going.”
Pierce, 30, will make just his sixth start of the season tomorrow. But it will be his first since suffering a mild concussion after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from Toronto’s Brandon Isaac in a 29-10 home loss to the Argos on Sept. 29.
Isaac was penalized on the play and later fined an undisclosed amount by the CFL.
Winnipeg offensive linemen Steve Morley and Justin Sorensen also were fined for separate, retaliatory hits on Isaac.
Bombers’ cornerback Jovon Johnson later tweeted he had been fined $300 by the league for post-game comments about the incident.
Pierce said the Bombers are heading to Toronto to win a football game and not exact revenge.
“I’m playing Toronto, I’m not playing Brandon Isaac,” Pierce told reporters in Winnipeg. “We’re moving on from that, that was three weeks ago.
“There is always trash talk, that’s just part of the game,” he reasoned. “They’re going to play hard, they’re going to play tough, they’re going to get after you and I like that.
“I expect that.”
Both Milanovich and Bombers’ head coach Tim Burke believe there won’t be any negative carry-over from Isaac’s controversial hit.
“Coach Burke is a good man and he’s not going to be coaching any of that stuff and neither are we,” Milanovich stressed.
“We want, just like they do, a clean game of hard football and may the best team win.”