Wednesday, June 29, 2016
CFL THIS WEEK PRESENTED BY DRAFTKINGS
THURSDAY 5 PM
It seems Henry Burris is human after all.
The veteran quarterback will miss his first CFL start since 2007 on Thursday night when the Ottawa Redblacks visit the Montreal Alouettes. The CFL's outstanding player last season suffered a hand injury in last week's 45-37 overtime win over the Edmonton Eskimos.
That means Trevor Harris, who came off the bench to throw for 292 yards and three TDs against Edmonton, starts against Montreal. He started 16 games last year with Toronto while incumbent Ricky Ray recovered from off-season shoulder injury, throwing a CFL-best 33 TD strikes.
Harris signed with Ottawa as a free agent this off-season.
Receiver Chris Williams helped anchor Ottawa's opening win, registering eight catches for 176 yards with two TDs. He took Harris's first completion 71 yards for the touchdown.
But Williams isn't the Redblacks' lone passing threat. Greg Ellingson had five catches for 96 yards while Canadian Brad Sinopoli recorded nine catches for 84 yards and a TD, which came in overtime.
But Kevin Glenn wasn't too shabby in Montreal's opener. The veteran quarterback had 332 yards passing with a TD in the Alouettes' 22-14 road win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Glenn used eight different receivers against Winnipeg and Montreal also showed it can run the ball, rushing for 114 yards. Duron Carter, back with the Als after spending last season with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, had a game-high eight catches for 96 yards.
Montreal's defence also registered an interception and five sacks, with John Bowman _ who had a CFL-high 19 sacks last year _ recording two.
Pick - Montreal
TORONTO AT SASKATCHEWAN, THURSDAY 8 PM
It's Saskatchewan's season opener and Chris Jones's debut. After guiding Edmonton to the Grey Cup as head coach, Jones was hired as Riders head coach/GM after the squad posted a dismal 3-15 record. Quarterback Darian Durant returns after suffering season-ending injuries the last two years but such stalwarts as defensive lineman John Chick and receivers Chris Getzlaf and slotback Weston Dressler are gone. It's the Roughriders' final season at Mosaic Stadium, where they're 12-4 in home openers since 2000. Toronto comes off a 42-20 home loss to Hamilton in its regular-season debut at BMO Field. Ricky Ray threw for 282 yards and two TDs but was sacked six times and surrendered a pick-six and lost fumble to Ticats' linebacker Simoni Lawrence.
Pick - Saskatchewan
B.C. AT HAMILTON, FRIDAY 5 PM
Jeremiah Masoli threw for 318 yards and three TDs against Toronto and was especially sharp in the third quarter after the Argos pulled to within 25-20. He went 15-of-15 passing for 176 yards and two TDs to cement the victory. Lawrence led a tenacious defence with seven tackles to go with his two sacks, pick-six and fumble recovery. Unfortunately for B.C., the unit feeds off its rabid fans at Tim Hortons Field. Chris Rainey had two TDs, one coming on a 71-yard punt return, to rally the Lions to a 20-18 home win over Calgary. But Hamilton also counters with a stellar returner of its own in Brandon Banks. Sophomore starter Jonathon Jennings can expect a lot of pressure from a Ticats' defence bolstered by all-star defensive tackle Ted Laurent's return.
Pick - Hamilton
WINNIPEG AT CALGARY, FRIDAY 8 PM
Calgary has won 12 of its last 13 home games versus Winnipeg since 2002. The Stamps were also 3-0 against the Bombers last season but are coming off a 20-18 road loss to B.C. quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 233 yards and a TD while the offence managed just 50 yards rushing on 18 attempts. Rainey's huge special-teams play was pivotal in the contest. The new-look Bombers lost their season opener 22-14 to Montreal at home but slotback Weston Dressler (head) won't play. Quarterback Drew Willy finished 25-of-34 passing for 303 yards with one TD and an interception. Darvin Adams had five catches for 105 yards and a TD while Winnipeg native Andrew Harris ran for 80 yards on 13 carries in his debut with his home-town team.
Pick - Calgary
Last week: 0-4
(Canadian Press/Dan Ralph)