Tuesday, September 19, 2017
THE POINT AFTER: WEEK 14
The Ottawa Redblacks general manager said quarterback Drew Tate is listed as week-to-week with an arm-shoulder injury sustained in last weekend's 29-11 win over the Montreal Alouettes. Tate underwent testing Monday, and Desjardins said while it's unlikely Tate will play Friday night in Winnipeg, he wouldn't rule it out.
"There's a chance he could play this week,'' Desjardins said. "I'd say no, especially when it's a short week, but you never know.''
Tate left in the second quarter after being hit by defensive back Dondre Wright. He stood on the sidelined in the second half with his right arm in a sling.
Tate was starting in place of incumbent Trevor Harris, who suffered a shoulder injury in Ottawa's 26-22 loss to Hamilton on Sept. 9. Tate finished the game 21-of-29 passing for 185 yards with a touchdown and interception. Third-stringer Ryan Lindley replaced Tate and completed 7-of-14 passes for 76 yards and an interception.
Although Lindley, 28, is in his first CFL season, he played collegiately at San Diego State and in the NFL with Arizona (twice), San Diego, New England and Indianapolis before joining the Redblacks.
"He (Lindley) doesn't have to be the guy who does everything,'' Desjardins said. "He just needs to be the guy who distributes the ball and lets the other players make plays.''
If Lindley starts Friday night, Danny Collins will be his backup. Desjardins said he won't be looking for a third quarterback this week.
Ottawa (5-7-1) currently sits atop the East Division, one point ahead of the Toronto Argonauts (5-7-0). The Redblacks will play their next four games versus West Division opponents before finishing the regular season facing Hamilton on Nov. 3.
Toronto, which has captured the season series with Ottawa, faces Montreal and Hamilton next before finishing its regular season against Saskatchewan, Edmonton, Winnipeg and B.C. East Division teams are just 4-21-1 versus their Western rivals this year.
While not pleased with his club's record, Desjardins said the Redblacks are in a good position within the weak East Division.
"Considering that we've been inconsistent and the record reflects that, we're still in a pretty good place,'' he said. "These games down the stretch obviously mean a lot in terms of who's going to finish first and second and even beyond that.''
HISTORIC WIN: Brandon Bridge understands the historical significance of his role Friday in the Saskatchewan Roughriders' 27-19 road win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
The 25-year-old native of Mississauga, Ont., completed 21-of-31 passes for 231 yards and three TDs to become the first Canadian to start and win a CFL regular-season game since Greg Vavra led the Calgary Stampeders past the Toronto Argonauts 28-17 on Oct. 14, 1985. The three-touchdown performance was the first for a Canuck quarterback since Vavra accomplished the feat in 1984.
"I'm trying to open up doors for the younger generation that is a Canadian and actually wants to play quarterback,'' said Bridge. "I'm just trying to open up that door.
"I'm trying to lay that first stone so it's an easier path for them.''
Bridge made just his second career start after incumbent Kevin Glenn couldn't play due to a hand injury. Bridge and Stampeders backup Andrew Buckley, a Calgary native, are the CFL's only two Canadian-born quarterbacks.
Bridge's first start came in 2015 while with the Montreal Alouettes. He is in his third CFL season and second with the Riders.
The six-foot-five, 230-pound Bridge certainly has shown a flare for the dramatic. After throwing a TD pass in Hamilton, Bridge ran downfield rubbing his fingers together copying former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel's money gesture to the crowd.
The week before, Bridge launched himself into the stands at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg after scoring a rushing TD.
"It was planned with the group of receivers,'' Bridge said. "We always plan our celebrations throughout the week and what we want to do.
"I actually know Johnny. I went to Manning camp with him two years in a row when I was in college. He's actually a good guy.''
FANTUZ RE-JOINS TICATS: The Hamilton Tiger-Cats added veteran slotback Andy Fantuz to the practice roster Monday.
Fantuz, 33, has spent the last four months as Hamilton's co-ordinator of player development while recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered late last season. The Chatham, Ont., native was a finalist as the CFL's top Canadian last year after recording 101 catches for 1,059 yards and five TDs.
Fantuz has appeared in 145 career CFL games with Saskatchewan (2006-11) and Hamilton (2012-present), having recorded 631 catches for 8,308 yards and 44 TDs. Fantuz was the CFL's top Canadian in 2010 and won a Grey Cup in '07 with the Riders.
POINT AFTER: Calgary's 27-13 win over B.C. on Saturday was its 16th straight at home and eighth consecutive overall. Since 2013, the Stampeders are 38-4 at McMahon Stadium . . . Toronto ran for a season-high 231 yards in its 34-26 home win over Edmonton on Saturday, its first over a West Division team this year. James Wilder Jr. rushed for 190 yards and a TD on 11 carries in the Argos' first game since Jonathan Himebauch's return as offensive-line coach . . . It will be interesting to see if Hamilton coach June Jones sticks with Jeremiah Masoli at quarterback Friday night against the B.C. Lions or goes back to Zach Collaros. Masoli led the Ticats to their first two wins of the year replacing Collaros before their 27-19 home loss to Saskatchewan. But Masoli was just 60-of-112 passing (53.6 per cent) for 778 yards with two TDs and three picks in his three starts.