It's been a terrible week for the Edmonton Eskimos, who lost 17-1 to Saskatchewan Sunday, put up one of the worst offensive displays ever seen in the CFL during that game and created a quarterback controversy in the process. They haven't played a game since then, but they've still managed to look rather inept, issuing a release Monday that star receiver Adarius Bowman would be gone for the season with a torn ACL and MCL, but then quickly disputing their own release the next day and saying that Bowman's status would be determined once the swelling in his knee goes down. From Evan Daum of The Edmonton Journal, here are head coach Kavis Reed's comments Tuesday on Bowman's situation:
Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed addressed Bowman's condition after the team's practice Tuesday, saying the club's press release Monday stating the slotback would be out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee was "erroneous."
"Our doctors are consulting with him right now. It's a knee injury. We're going to learn the extent possibly in a week or so," Reed said. "The swelling is such right now that we need to let that clear up before we know the extent of it.
"Yes, he does have a knee injury, but we can't say right now that he's out for the season."
Look, it would obviously be great for the team if they're able to get Bowman back before the end of the season. Bowman tied Fred Stamps for the team receiving lead with 1,153 yards last season, but did so on 20 fewer catches (62 versus 82); he's an outstanding deep threat, and his yardage total tied him with Stamps for fourth in the league. The Eskimos' offence has been by far the worst unit in the league thus far (they haven't recorded a passing touchdown and they have just 20 points; next-lowest is Winnipeg with 46), but that's far more about the (lack of) quality at quarterback than the receivers. If that offence looked so atrocious with Bowman in the lineup, it's hard to imagine how bad they might be without him.
Still, issuing a release one night and then disputing it the following day is amateurish at best and suggests an organizational divide at worst. Teams dispute reports all the time, but they rarely dispute reports coming from inside the house, and it's remarkable when a team's general manager says a player's out for the year one day and the head coach takes issue with that less than 24 hours later; that's not a difference of opinion, it's just contradiction. Injury issues are undoubtedly complicated, so it could be that the team just jumped the gun here (although sending a premature and inaccurate release might suggest they're already missing long-time PR man Dave Jamieson, whose last day was Sunday), and while that's still problematic, we all make mistakes. However, if the coach and the general manager aren't communicating effectively, that's a much larger issue, and it might be signs of trouble in Edmonton. Regardless of what caused this, the Eskimos need to get on the same page if they want to turn this season around.