Bighill, Schoen miss practice for Winnipeg Blue Bombers ahead of Grey Cup – Winnipeg

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers held a closed practice on Wednesday away from prying eyes as they prepare to battle the Montreal Alouettes in the 110th Grey Cup game.

But according to the official injury report, linebacker Adam Bighill and receiver Dalton Schoen both missed the session.

In the first injury report of Grey Cup week, Bighill is listed with a calf injury, which is certainly positive news as it was feared he had suffered a much more serious Achilles injury.

Nic Demski (ankle), Rasheed Bailey (knee), Jackson Jeffcoat (hip), and Kyrie Wilson (hip) also missed their first full practice. Demski, Bailey and Jeffcoat were all dealing with those injuries entering the Western Final.

The Bombers will be chasing their 13th Grey Cup in club history on Sunday and they really captured the attention of Winnipeggers during this run to a fourth straight Grey Cup appearance. The Bombers sold out their final five straight home games and speaking at today’s media day, Willie Jefferson is eager to get back on top to bring home another cup after losing last year’s title game to prevent the three-peat.

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“We came up short last time,” said Jefferson. “The fan base and everybody was so ready to enjoy just that excitement and things like that. And now that we’re back, the mindset and everything is reclaim the throne. So, we really just want to put our stamp on it.”

When the Bombers lost last year’s Grey Cup game to the Toronto Argonauts, all the talk of a dynasty was quickly snuffed out. But now that they’re headed back to play for another championship, it’s rekindling the discussion.

The Bombers are the first team in over 40 years to appear in the Grey Cup game four straight seasons, and winning the cup three times in just four seasons has only been accomplished six times in Grey Cup history and just once since 1962. But the Bombers don’t want to hear any talk of a dynasty just yet.

“I’m not worried about the dynasty or anything like that,” said Jeffcoat. “I just want to win this game.

“It’s about the here and the now. I think this is a new group of guys. It’s not the same group that we came with last year. We have a lot of the same pieces. But there’s new groups and new people. So, we’re trying to get that one for this group.”

What a difference a few years can make. It was only four years ago that the Bombers were still enduring their nearly three-decade Grey Cup drought. But that’s ancient history now with the blue and gold just one win away from another championship.

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“When we won in ’19 it was just really unbelievable because it was, what, 29 years since the last time they won it,” said defensive coordinator Richie Hall. “Just like the monkey was off the back and it was just like, ‘Ahh’. I’m sure some people said, I never thought in my lifetime again, we would ever win. And now to be here four years in a row, it’s just an unbelievable opportunity.”

Oddsmakers have the Bombers pegged as heavy favourites to win on Sunday, and there’s good reason. Winnipeg won both regular season meetings, beating the Alouettes by 30 points in their last affair, and the Als offence only scored six points on the Bombers’ defence in both games combined.

But as the old adage goes, ‘Any given Sunday’.

“You might be supposed to win a game, but teams have pride,” Jeffcoat said. “They’re not coming out to lose a game, so you have to go out and win the game.”

The Bombers certainly can’t rest on their laurels or underestimate Montreal, especially after they just knocked off the 16-2 Toronto Argonauts in the Eastern Final.

“This is why we play the games,” said head coach Mike O’Shea. “The records get thrown out the window. People can talk about odds and favourites, and advantages across the board. And who should (win). Unless you play the game and play it the right way, and make less mistakes, and make more plays than the opposition, there’s a chance you could not get the result you want.”

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Blue Bombers donate more than 500 helmets

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