Archive for the ‘CFL’ Category

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BC Lions fans, exhale.

The MRI results for starting quarterback Jonathon Jennings are in, and according to Farhan Lalji of TSN, the tests show no structural damage to his shoulder and the injury is now listed as a strain.

Lalji also reported that the strength and range in Jennings’ shoulder is “better than expected,” and that his timeline to return is now week-to-week.

Jennings was forced to leave Saturday’s game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats after just one play when he suffered an injury to his throwing shoulder. Jennings later returned to the sidelines but did not re-enter the game.

Backup Travis Lulay was able to lead the team to victory in Jennings’ absence, so the Lions should be in decent shape if their starter’s stay on the injured list is short.

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The Montreal Alouettes and quarterback Drew Willy have agreed to terms on a one-year contract, the team announced Monday.

Willy had been searching for a new club after being released by the Toronto Argonauts following training camp. The pivot appeared in four games for the Argos last season after coming over in a trade from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The 30-year-old is a five-year veteran of the CFL, throwing for more than 8,500 yards and 39 touchdowns. He should provide Montreal with some insurance at quarterback behind starter Darian Durant.

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The Ottawa RedBlacks signed head coach Rick Campbell and general manager Marcel Desjardins to contract extensions through the 2020 season, the club announced Wednesday.

“The results speak for themselves,” Jeff Hunt, president of the RedBlacks’ parent company, OSEG Sports, said in a statement. “Marcel and Rick have taken the team to the Grey Cup championship game in each of the last two seasons. They’ve shown exemplary skills assembling and leading our football operations department and making the RedBlacks a model franchise in the CFL. Having stability in both of these roles is a tremendous asset to have – we’re proud of their work and delighted that they’ll both be with us for at least the next four seasons.”

Campbell and Desjardins have held their respective positions since the franchise joined the CFL as an expansion team in 2014. Together, they led Ottawa to the Grey Cup championship in 2016.

The RedBlacks will begin their title defense Friday versus the Calgary Stampeders.

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Hall of Famer Don Matthews – a five-time Grey Cup championship-winning head coach – has died at the age of 77, the league announced Wednesday.

CFL Board of Governors chair Jim Lawson recognized Matthews’ numerous accomplishments in a statement posted to the league’s website:

Upon hearing of the passing of Don Matthews, the Canadian Football League family is both deeply saddened by this loss and grateful for his many contributions to our league. The Don, as he was known, was one of a kind. He was a leader for so many of our greatest players and teams. He was a mentor to many of our current coaches. He was a charismatic star that loved to spar with the media at the same time he commanded the spotlight. The record book is filled with his accomplishments. He won five Grey Cups as a head coach, with Toronto (2), Montreal, Baltimore and British Columbia. That ties him for the most ever, with three other legends (Wally Buono, Frank Clair, and Hugh Campbell). He was a head coach in nine Grey Cups in total, tying him for the most ever. He won five more Grey Cup rings as a defensive coordinator, all with Edmonton. He won 231 regular-season games as a head coach, which made him the winningest coach in CFL history until his total was eclipsed just a few years ago. His defences and his teams inevitably took on his persona: They were bold, brash, confident. And like him, they were winners. A Canadian Football Hall of Famer, Don Matthews had style and swagger and a passion for life as well as football, and the CFL was more colourful, more compelling, and simply better because he was part of it. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, all those who knew him and loved him, and the countless fans who will long remember him.

Matthews was named CFL Coach of the Year five times throughout his career. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011, after last coaching the Argonauts in 2008.

Matthews announced in 2012 that he was battling cancer. The league hasn’t revealed his cause of death.

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Edmonton will play host to the 2018 Grey Cup at Commonwealth Stadium, the league announced Monday.

The game will coincide with the 40th anniversary of Commonwealth Stadium and will be the 106th installment of the Grey Cup.

“The Edmonton Eskimos are thrilled to host the Grey Cup in 2018, a year that will mark the 40th anniversary of Commonwealth Stadium, and the 70th anniversary of our team’s play as the Edmonton Eskimos,” said chairman of the Eskimos’ board of directors, Brad Sparrow. “This organization and this city share a legacy that is second to none in sport. And we’re confident that, with the support of our fans, and our private and public sector partners, we will host a game and a celebration that adds a proud new chapter.”

It will be the first time Edmonton has hosted the event since 2010, when they sold out the game in one week. The Eskimos last played in the game in 2015, defeating the Ottawa RedBlacks.

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Andy Fantuz is going to try his hand at helping the Hamilton Tiger-Cats off the field while he works to get back on it.

Fantuz was named the organization’s coordinator of player development, Hamilton announced Thursday.

The 33-year-old suffered a torn ACL last October and is currently rehabbing the injury. Drew Edwards of 3 Down Nation is reporting Fantuz intends to rejoin the team as a player once healthy.

Before his injury, Fantuz recorded 101 receptions for 1,059 yards in 2016, earning him Most Outstanding Canadian honours for the East Division.

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The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have agreed to a contract extension with defensive end John Chick through the 2018 campaign, the team announced Monday.

Chick earned an All-Star distinction for the 2016 season after finishing second in the CFL with 14 sacks. The 34-year-old also added 40 tackles and four forced fumbles.

“John’s performance last season proved that he is still an elite and impactful player in this league,” head coach Kent Austin said. “His professionalism, intensity level and the way he prepares himself on a daily basis both mentally and physically is infectious to our locker room. We’re very excited to have a player of his calibre locked up through 2018.”

Chick is heading into his second season with Hamilton after spending the first six years of his CFL career with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.