A pivotal time in the CFL

A pivotal time in the CFL
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A pivotal time for the CFL.

As we head into Week 7 of the 2021 CFL season it is becoming a pivotal time for some of the teams. Not only because the shortened 14 game season makes each game all the more important. But also, because the QB position around the league is in a state of flux for a number of teams.

A pivotal time in Edmonton

The Edmonton Elks have placed starting QB Trevor Harris on the six-game injured list. Harris sustained a neck injury in Edmonton’s Week 6 game against the Calgary Stampeders. Although initially cleared to play, the injury has progressed over the last week. This sees the Elks (2-3) losing valuable experience going into a pivotal West Division contest with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (5-1).

Edmonton will be going from a man who has thrown for 23,663 yards, 126 touchdowns, and 57 interceptions over nine CFL seasons to Taylor Cornelius, a QB yet to throw a pass in the CFL. Cornelius has previously played under Elks head coach Jaime Elizondo in the XFL with the Tampa Bay Vipers.

He has a tough assigment against the Defence that has given up the least points in the league this year so far.

A pivotal moment in Hamilton

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are dealing with their own quarterback issues. They announced on Thursday that David Watford would start the Week 7 contest for the tabbies, (2-3), against the Stampeders. Watford becomes the third different quarterback to start a game for Hamilton this season. Dane Evans was injured in last weeks’ loss to the Toronto Argonauts.

Watford will be making his first CFL appearance in over two years. At least he has some experience. With the Saskatchewan Roughriders he completed 15 of 32 passes for 168 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions in 2018. In Hamilton in 2019 he was used primarily as a short yardage runner rushing for 6 touchdowns in 12 games.

Hamilton fans will have some hope as Dane Evans was a stand-in during the 2019 season. A year that saw them set a regular season record for wins and have a Grey Cup appearance.

Around the league

The pivotal postion has not been without intruige for other teams around the league this year either. The Ottawa RedBlacks (1-4), have signed American quarterback Devlin “Duck” Hodges to a three-year contract. This following on from making Dominique Davis the starter following a poor start to life in the capital for Matt Nichols.

Meanwhile in Calgary, Jake Maier started three games in the place of an injured Bo Levi Mitchell. BLM is back now, but this being Calgary, Maier showed more than a flash or two. In fact he became the first player in CFL history to throw for 300 yards in each of his first three career starts. 

Toronto (3-2) have seen Nick Arbuckle settle into a leaderhip role more over the last 3 games. But they also have Mcleod Bethel-Thompson as insurance in the wings, a man who has thrown for 6,762 yards and 38 TD’s for the Boatmen.

The remaing teams all have experienced veteran CFL talent in place. Micheal Reilly for the BC Lions (3-2). Zach Collaros for the Blue Bombers, Vernon Adams Jr for the Montreal Alouettes (2-2), and Cody Fajardo for the Roughriders (3-2).

Yet, in this topsy-turvy curtailed season each of them has had their ups and downs. Good games, bad games, injury scares and more. Quarterback is the most pivotal position in the game. So it will be intersting to see what more intruige swirls around the men under centre over the course of the coming season.

Banner Image: David Watford QB Hamilton. Image from ticats.ca

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