In this week’s CFL action, four games are on schedule starting with the BC Lions and Ottawa Redblacks going head-to-head as their respective conferences’ third seed. The Edmonton Elks and Hamilton Tiger-Cats represent the league’s two worst records and will clash on Friday, while the Montreal Alouettes aim to catch up to the Toronto Argonauts as they visit Saskatchewan Roughriders over the weekend. Finally, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will square off against the Toronto Argonauts next week and will try to keep their undefeated season alive.
Lions @ Redblacks
The Lions opened up their 2022 season with two wins in two games, outscoring their opponents 103-18. They represent the league as the best offensive and defensive team, crushing the Argonauts 44-3 in Week 3 after dismantling the Elks in Week 1 59-15. Ottawa hasn’t had the same luck, going 0-2 in their first two games while remaining out of the basement of the Eastern Conference thanks to Hamilton’s 0-3 start. The Redblacks dropped a 30-13 decision to the Roughriders in Week 1 before stumbling to a 26-12 final against the Blue Bombers.
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While they did not practice on Sunday, the Lions’ injury reports from last week indicate the absences of Delvin Breaux (elbow), Nathan Cherry (Knee) and Obum Gwacham (Foot), Cooper-Jalon Edwards (Foot), and Josh Woods (Knee) could all miss this week’s game. Meanwhile, the Redblacks had William Powell (Achilles), Brendan Gillanders (Hip), and Justin Howell (Hamstring) participate in full practice, while Jackson Bennett (Quadricep), Hunter Steward (Knee), and Dino Boyd (Foot) were held to limited participation.
Elks @ Tiger-Cats
The Elks made a small splash by trading offensive line Colin Kelly to Hamilton for a seventh-round pick. The 32-year-old missed the full 2021 season and was in his fourth year with the team. Edmonton was embarrassed in their season opener, losing 59-15 against the Lions before losing their Week 2 matchup against the Roughriders 26-16. They then dropped their third decision in a row 30-23, against the Calgary Stampeders, the top team in the West. Hamilton hasn’t fared much better, losing all three of their games in consecutive weeks against the Roughriders (30-13), Stampeders (33-30), and Blue Bombers (26-12).
Edmonton was without the services of Colin Kelly (Ankle), Enock Makonzo (Knee), Pharoah McKever (Knee), and Brady Sheldon (Knee) for last week’s game, and their status remains questionable this week. Christian Rector (Calf), Derel Walker (Hand/Finger), and James Wilder (Shoulder) participated in full practice last week and could be ready to go. For the Tiger-Cats, six players were out of action last week, including Cariel Brooks (Back), Alex Fontana (Knee), Don Jackson (Knee), Kyle Saxelid (Ankle), Felix Garand-Gauthier (Knee), and Bailey Feltmate (Neck).
Alouettes @ Roughriders
In Weeks 1 and 2, the Alouettes suffered heart-breaking losses to the Stampeders (30-27) and Argonauts (20-19). They remedied their 0-2 start to an extent with a 37-13 win against the Roughriders in Week 3 but remain 1-2 on the season heading into this week’s rematch against Saskatchewan. The Roughriders had the opposite fate, winning their first two games against the Tiger-Cats (30-13) and Elks (26-16) before their shortcomings against Montreal. They dropped to fourth place in the West Conference as a result.
Montreal has remained relatively healthy to start the year, with just Jarnor Jones(Hand) and Najee Murray (Foot) dealing with some nagging problems. Unfortunately, William Stanback left the season opener due to an apparent ankle injury that will require surgery, knocking him out for at least six weeks. The Als are now without the services of three players for a minimum of six weeks, while six more are out with illnesses. Dan Clark (Ankle) and Bruno Labelle (Calf) will likely sit out for a second consecutive week, and seven more remain questionable.
Blue Bombers @ Argonauts
Keeping pace with the Stampeders for the top spot in the West, the Blue Bombers opened their year 3-0 with wins over the Redblacks in Week 1 (19-17) and Week 2 (19-12) and putting on a defensive clinic against the Tiger-Cats (26-12). The Argonauts have played just two games thus far, squeaking out a 20-19 win over Montreal in Week 2 before being crushed by the Lions 44-3 in Week 3. They still hold first place in a weak East Conference but face a difficult schedule in the next few weeks.
Michael Couture (Arm) sat out for the Blue Bombers last week and could miss a second consecutive game, while five others were questionable with some minor ailments. Their status is unknown for the time being until the team takes practice, but it’s looking like Couture will need more time. Robertson Daniel did not play last week due to a hamstring problem and is likely to miss another week, but the main problem is Toronto’s lack of offense, with 11 players in questionable status due to injury and another three out with non-injury-related issues.
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