t was a CFL pink night at the Rogers Centre in honour of breast cancer awareness. But you could have coloured a bruising Argos-Bombers game black and blue Thursday.
Toronto defensive back Neiko Thorpe was carted off the field early in the Argos’ 36-21 win after appearing to get his head caught in an awkward position trying to tackle Winnipeg running back Will Ford.
Thorpe was taken to nearby St. Michael’s Hospital for precautionary evaluation.
“All I know is that he was moving a little bit and he had a little tingling in his neck,” Argos coach Scott Milanovich said at his post-game news conference.
Later word was that Thorpe had been released from hospital after all tests were negative.
There was a lengthy delay with 2:16 remaining in the first quarter when Thorpe was hurt — his head appearing to slam off Ford’s leg — as the Bombers drove towards the Toronto goal-line.
Players watched as trainers worked on Thorpe in the Toronto end zone. The import defensive back was strapped onto a board — his head immobilized — and placed on a stretcher before being carted off.
Toronto (11-6) led 10-0 at the time. The Bombers scored several plays later to make it 10-7.
“The Blue Bomber organization wishes the best for injured Argo Neiko Thorpe,” Winnipeg said on its official Twitter account.
Thorpe was the second Argo defender to go down in the CFL game. Middle linebacker Robert McCune was hurt in a collision on an earlier pass play.
McCune, who was being examined in the dressing room when Thorpe went down, returned to the game despite what he called “a little shoulder issue.”
“They checked it out and I told them I was good enough to finish the game,” he said later. “I’ve got two weeks now to try to get it back healthy and get ready for this Eastern final.”
Asked if it hurt, McCune smiled wryly and said: “It’s starting to stiffen up a little but now ... I’ll be OK.”
Toronto receiver Spencer Watt also was sidelined after talking a big hit from defensive back Johnny Sears near the Winnipeg goal-line.
Milanovich had no other injury updates.
The Bombers (3-14) had their own problems. Quarterback Max Hall had to be helped off in the dying minutes as he tried to scramble for a first down near his goal-line. Linebacker Marcus Ball, who made the tackle, was also shaken up on the play.
Hall was said to have suffered a hip injury but there was no other immediate update.
Hall was replaced by Jason Boltus, who was saved from being erased by McCune when he fell over as the bruising Argos linebacker steamed towards him.
Bombers coach Tim Burke recited a list of players who had taken knocks during the game.
Defensive back Desia Dunn (reaggravating an ankle injury) and defensive lineman Michael McAdoo also did not finish the game. The walking wounded included receiver Wallace Miles and defensive back Jovon Johnson.