North of the Border: CFL Week 3 News and Notes

by Sean Murphy

Thursday, Jun 22, 2023
Two weeks are in the books in CFL action and every team has now taken the field as the Toronto Argonauts finally played their first game this past Sunday. Here's a look at some early season news and notes to consider as Week 3 gets set to kick off.

History repeating?

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have been the class of the league over the last few seasons and are off to another red hot start, easily disposing of the Tiger-Cats and Roughriders in Weeks 1 and 2. The Bombers offense has impressed, scoring 87 points in those two contests, led by the dynamic QB-WR duo of Zach Collaros and Dalton Schoen. They figure to get a tougher test this week as they host the undefeated B.C. Lions. Note that the injury bug has already bitten Winnipeg with standout RB Brady Oliveira likely to miss Thursday's contest. He had already racked up 160 rushing yards, not to mention 62 receiving yards, in two games.

Restore the roar

The aforementioned Lions have been getting it done with defense - fresh off a shutout victory over the Edmonton Elks last Saturday they've allowed just 15 points through two games. Like the Blue Bombers, the Lions are also dealing with some key injuries, most notably to WR Dominique Rhymes, who had been lighting it up to the tune of 163 receiving yards and three touchdowns in two contests. His absence on Thursday could lead to RB Taquan Mizzell playing a larger role in the offense. Mizzell has rushed for 174 yards and hauled in seven catches for 35 yards so far this season.

Feeble Cats

It's been another rocky start for Orlando Steinauer's Hamilton Tiger-Cats as they're 0-2 after getting beat up by the rival Argonauts in Toronto on Sunday. An injury to prized offseason acquisition QB Bo Levi Mitchell adds a little salt in the wound. On a positive note, backup QB Matt Shiltz has proven he can perform at this level and stepped in and completed 13-of-14 passes for 115 yards and a touchdown in last week's loss. Veteran RB James Butler is off to a tremendous start, rushing for 223 yards and two touchdowns on just 27 carries through two games. Hamilton will play its home-opener on Friday against Montreal.

RedBlacks feeling blue

Until QB Jeremiah Masoli can make his debut, the Ottawa RedBlacks are in tough with an ineffective Nick Arbuckle under center. Tyrie Adams relieved Arbuckle last Thursday but fared no better, completing only 9-of-17 passes for 129 yards and an interception against Calgary. The Ottawa defense has actually held up just fine through two games, but can't shoulder the entire load. Fortunately, the RedBlacks do have an extra week off before taking the field against the lowly Elks on June 30th. If Masoli can return, the needle might begin to point upward again in the nation's capital. 

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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