The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have lost starting running back Chris Garrett for the season, before it even began.
Garrett, who took over for the injured Fred Reid last September and performed superbly, tore his left Achilles tendon late in Tuesday’s practice at Canad Inns Stadium. He took a pass in the flat and then crumpled to the turf after changing direction and trying to avoid a tackle.
“We are extremely disappointed after hearing the news from the doctors about how serious Chris’ injury exactly is,? Bombers GM Joe Mack said in a release. “It is unfortunate for the club, but also for Chris as he was someone who was looking forward to being a big part of our offence this season.
“Chris is a tough young man who will overcome this, and we wish him a quick recovery.?
What makes Garrett’s injury even worse is his backup, former NFLer Chad Simpson, is also injured (leg) and hasn’t practised all week. That meant practice roster running back Bloi-Dei Dorzon finished Tuesday’s practice as the starting tailback and will likely be the starter on Friday night in Vancouver against the B.C. Lions.
“I hope he’s OK, is the first thing,? Dorzon said after practice and before the severity of Garrett’s injury was known. “He’s not only my teammate, but my friend. So I’m hoping he’s OK. If I’m needed to step up there, I’m ready.?
Dorzon had an excellent training camp, but he was buried on the depth chart behind Garrett and Simpson. Dorzon had four carries for 54 yards and a touchdown against Montreal, and he notched 22 yards on four carries versus Hamilton. He also had one catch for nine yards against the Tabbies.
“We had three talented backs here (in training camp), and it’s a good thing we did. So we’ll see,? LaPolice said, also before it was known Garrett was done for the year. “Out of the backs we had he performed just as well as everybody else, if not better than all the guys in pre-season. If that’s any indication I think he’s ready to step in.?
If Simpson can’t dress, that would make Anthony Woodson Dorzon’s backup, but the Bombers are probably already looking at alternatives. Carl Volny still hasn’t recovered from ACL surgery last September and is on the one-game injured list.
Garrett burst on to the scene last year after Reid and Volny both suffered a torn ACLs against the Toronto Argonauts. Garrett had 92 carries for 576 yards and four touchdowns in just six starts. He was even voted one of the CFL’s top 50 players in TSN’s annual media poll on Monday night, landing at No. 42.