The Winnipeg Blue Bombers will wait until the last minute before deciding if linebacker Adam Bighill and/or receiver Dalton Schoen will play in the Grey Cup.
Winnipeg listed both players as game-time decisions Saturday after neither practised this week due to injury. The Blue Bombers meet the Montreal Alouettes in the Grey Cup on Sunday at Tim Hortons Field.
Schoen, a sophomore receiver, has missed Winnipeg’s last three games with an ankle injury. Bighill played in the Bombers’ 24-13 West Division final win over the B.C. Lions on Saturday but left IG Stadium on crutches. And when the Bombers made the trip to southern Ontario on Monday, Bighill wore a walking boot on his right foot.
Schoen, the CFL’s top rookie in 2022, was Winnipeg’s leading receiver this season. The 27-year-old American had 71 catches for 1,222 yards and a league-high 10 touchdown catches in 16 regular-season games.
Bighill, three times the CFL’s top defensive player, played in Saturday’s contest, registering a tackle. But the 35-year-old reportedly sustained the leg injury in the first quarter while chasing Lions quarterback Vernon Adams Jr.
The five-foot-10, 223-pound Bighill had a team-high 74 defensive tackles this season. The Bombers’ defensive captain also added four sacks, three tackles for a loss and a fumble recovery.
Winnipeg’s defence led the CFL in fewest points allowed (18.2 per game), offensive TDs (27), net yards (298.8), passing yards (229.4) and were third against the run (90.4 per game).
Winnipeg’s offence remains a potent unit even without Schoen.
Quarterback Zach Collaros, the CFL’s outstanding player in 2021 and 2022, was second overall in passing this year (4,253 yards) and tops in TDs (33). And running back Brady Oliveira lead the league in rushing with 1,534 yards en route to being named its top Canadian.
Oliveira also added 38 catches for 482 yards and four touchdowns.
Winnipeg’s receiving corps also includes Kenny Lawler, who had 50 catches for 901 yards and six TDs this season. The six-foot-two, 199-pound Lawler helped the Bombers win Grey Cups in 2019 and ‘21 and returned to Manitoba after spending the ‘22 campaign with Edmonton.
Over Winnipeg’s last four games, Lawler has 24 catches for 335 yards.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 18, 2023.
The Canadian Press