WINNIPEG — Blue Bomber defensive lineman Bryant Turner had a few frightening moments in Montreal last week when he paid the price for one of his hits and had to be rushed to hospital.
“It was pretty scary,” he said Tuesday, after being named the CFL’s defensive player of the week for his part in the 19-11 Bomber win that lifted the team to a 1-1 record.
Turner sacked Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo three times and had two other tackles but after his last hit of the night, he found himself gasping for breath.
“It was hard to catch my breath and I don’t know, that was a pretty important thing I needed right then.”
He was put on oxygen and rushed to a Montreal hospital where he spent the night waiting for a heart specialist to look him over.
The story has a happy ending though.
“Everything checked out to be normal. Tests had to be run basically.”
In the end, he was diagnosed with sprained ligaments in his chest and his sternoclavicular joint.
He will miss Saturday’s game in Guelph against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and late cut Marquis Frazier has been called back to take his place.
“I do have some big shoes to fill with BT going down,” Frazier said after practice Tuesday.
“It’s terrible I get my shot off of injury but I’m going to try to make the most of it and do the best I can do.”
Frazier was one of those players who almost made it after training camp, said coach Tim Burke.
“It’s hard to replace Bryant but Marquis will do a good job,” he said.
“He was one of the guys we had to send home because we didn’t have enough roster spots but we liked him a lot.”
The Bomber defence received most of the credit for the team’s first win this season. Their offence seems to be still finding its feet.
“It’s a lot on my shoulders but the coaches have confidence in me, they saw what I can do,” Frazier said of the need to step up and maintain the high level of play the Winnipeg defence has shown.
Bryant said he was excited to hear about the player-of-the-week honour, his first in his three years in the CFL.
“I’m hoping to be ready for Toronto, It’s pretty much a day-to-day thing,” he said.
The Argonauts visit Winnipeg July 19.
The Bombers are also without one of their top receivers. Veteran Terrence Edwards is out for an indefinite period with a shoulder injury and is listed as week to week.
“I’m going to guess it will be more than one week but I don’t know,” said Burke.
Either Isaac Anderson or Doug Pierce are expected to replace Edwards.
The Bombers have a pretty deep talent pool at receiver, both import and non-import, and one surprising star this year has been Jade Etienne.
He had caught exactly one pass in his CFL career until this season when he was the team’s leading receiver with 79 yards in their 38-33 home-opener loss.
With teams focusing more on Chris Matthews, last season’s rookie of the year, Etienne has had chances to get open and Burke says their 2011 CFL draft pick and Regina native has matured.
“He obviously physically got a little bit better but I think mainly he just grew up . . He’s got more confidence in himself,” Burke said. “His work habits are great.”
Burke also said they will also add a few new wrinkles Saturday to provide more protection for quarterback Buck Pierce, who was sacked five times in last week’s win in Montreal.