Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 3)

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Week 2 was a rough one for a few teams as they lost their top players and leaders to some major injuries.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders lost Zach Collaros to a concussion that landed him on the 6-game injured list while the Argos may have lost Ricky Ray forever.

Against the REDBLACKS, Collaros was hurt in the second quarter and after the week it was announced that he had suffered a concussion.

The Riders placed him on the 6-game injured list after he couldn’t pass the concussion protocol and they lost their starting QB until at least Week 9, then again concussions are tricky.

In Toronto, it was the third quarter of a game that was entirely out of hand that Ray rolled out to the right and landed awkwardly on a tackle.

The Argonauts announced that it was a neck injury but the future of the veteran QB remains in question.

Reports came out after Week 2 that doctors advised him to stay out for the rest of the season and with most people believing this was his final season anyway the retirement talk began to arise.

It was a shot for both teams as Ray was last year’s Eastern MOP and Collaros seemed like he was returning to form on his new team.

Both would not be available for a number of weeks, and in Ray’s case maybe ever again, so both the Riders and the Argos had to go to their backup plans.

For Saskatchewan that started in Week 3 as the Riders looked to the man, many thought was going to be the starter before they went out and got Collaros.

Brandon Bridge has been trying to get his chance in the CFL for years now but has never quite been able to get it going.

It has always seemed like the cards were stacked against him for one reason or another although it could be that he is a Canadian in a position played by Americans.

The product of South Alabama came back home to try to become the first legitimate Canadian starting QB since Russ Jackson.

He has broken many of those barriers entering the record book as the first Canadian to do so many things for a number of years.football-sidebar

He was the first to take a snap in a CFL game, the first to start a game and the first to start and win.

Entering 2018 he was looking to be the first to start a significant amount of games since Russ Jackson retired.

With Collaros out, Bridge had his chance as the Riders became his team for at least six weeks and that six-week tryout began in Week 3.

It did not go as planned though as Bridge threw two interceptions and was benched after the first half leaving his future in question.

It is likely still Bridge’s team but Week 4 could be on a thin rope with a coach who has ever really wanted to give him much of a chance, to begin with.

In Toronto, the next stage begins in Week 4 as they made sure they were prepared for this exact issue.

With Ray suffering injuries throughout the last few years and the likelihood of this being his final year they went out and signed James Franklin.

Franklin has long been billed as one of the best young QBs in the game but sitting behind Mike Reilly, he never had a chance to really take over a team.

Going to Toronto gave him that chance as he would sit behind a future hall of famer while also having the greatest QB to play the game as his QB coach in Anthony Calvillo.

After a year of learning from two of the best, he would have likely taken over the starting role with Ray retiring after 2018.

His chance is coming a year earlier than anyone thought and Week 4 becomes his coming out party.

The question for him will be whether or not the hype is warranted as he seems to have all of the tools but he has never been the guy.

With a bye week, Marc Trestman had a full two weeks of practice to adjust to the more athletic quarterback with a stronger arm and against Edmonton, Franklin’s former team, the CFL will see what they have in store.

Although two quarterbacks went down and nobody wants to see that it has given a chance to two younger QBs.

This is their chance and although one already blew his first chance they will continue to try to prove that they belong.

Both could be something special in this league with their mix of arm power and athleticism but they will need to prove it in the coming weeks, as both QB situations have become must-see TV for CFL fans.

Fourth Down

Another QB Down

A week after the Argos lost Ray and the Riders lost Collaros the Montreal Alouettes lost their starter. Drew Willy left Week 3’s game in the third quarter with what was reportedly a concussion. The Alouettes continued their strong defensive game and were able to get the win without Willy in the lineup. If the concussion has a lasting effect, Willy might be gone for an extended period of time. That will lead to some serious questions for a team constantly looking for a QB. They could go with Jeff Mathews who finished out the game or could look to their newest signing, Vernon Adams Jr. to help lead them and carry their momentum from their first win.

A Long Time Coming

The Alouettes saw a little relief despite their starting QB leaving the game early and putting the position in depth. Last year the Alouettes were one of the worst teams in the league and it all fell apart around Week 9. In Week 8 they beat the Toronto Argonauts 21-9 and that was the last game they would win for the rest of the season. From Week 9 until Week 20 the Alouettes would not win a game coming close a few times and others losing big. They started 2018 with two straight losses continuing a 13-game losing streak in the regular season. Week 3 this year was the game that broke that streak giving them their first win and giving Mike Sherman his first win of his CFL career, and hopefully giving them some momentum.

Makeup Date

The CLF is looking to make Thursday Night Football something special every week announcing a concert series for every Thursday game at halftime. The first game of the season was supposed to kick it all off with The Reklaws, who had recorded a new theme song that TSN would use for Thursday Night Football. Unfortunately, that game didn’t go as anyone planned with weather delays making it the longest game in CFL history and as a result, the halftime was cancelled. The Reklaws didn’t get their chance to perform on live TV and to make up for that issue the CFL announced that they would perform the pre-game show at the Grey Cup in Edmonton.

 

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