July 6, 2016

Checking Down: The latest on Henry Burris and more Week 3 notes


TORONTO — While everyone’s talking about Trevor Harris, it appears Henry Burris is still a few weeks away so put the quarterback controversy on hold for now.

Plus, could Anthony Allen be set to make his first start at running back for the BC Lions?

That and much, much more in the latest Checking Down:

Jump to team:

BC | Calgary | Edmonton | Saskatchewan | Winnipeg | Hamilton | Toronto | Ottawa | Montreal


Adam Gagnon/

The Lions could be without starting running back Jeremiah Johnson vs. the Argos (Adam Gagnon/

– The BC Lions have turned back the clock both on the sideline and on the field, as Ryan Phillips credits Wally Buono for the team’s strong start in 2016 (Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press).

– Speaking of Phillips, the longest-serving Lion is chasing club history this season (Cam Tucker, Vancouver Sun).

– With Jeremiah Johnson sidelined due to injury, it’s Anthony Allen’s turn to step into the BC backfield. What’s he expecting from his first start? (Mike Beamish, Vancouver Province)

– The Lions made some major gains in the Nissan Titan Power Rankings, but is a 2-0 start enough for a top-three spot?


Roxanna Nazarowicz (RX photography)

Alex Hoffman-Ellis appears primed to contribute right away for the Esks (Roxanna Nazarowicz/RX photography)

– What does the recently-acquired Alex Hoffman-Ellis bring to the Eskimos? Depth and the ability to play special teams, says Head Coach Jason Maas (Edmonton Journal).

– Speaking of Hoffman-Ellis, Maas says he’s picked up the system quickly and he could be in the lineup on Friday (Dave Campbell, CHED Edmonton).

– Maas says it’s up to the Esks’ offence to establish better field position earlier in the game, something the team struggled with in a Week 1 loss (Dave Campbell, CHED Edmonton).



By all indications, Joe West appears to be in for a big 2016 (Johany Jutras/

– Stamps defensive lineman Quinn Smith is doubtful to play on Friday vs. Ottawa, the team has announced.

– Return specialist Roy Finch has a chip on his shoulder ahead of his return to the nation’s capital this weekend (Scott Mitchell, Calgary Herald).

– There’s nothing wrong with the Stamps’ running game, while Joe West figures to be in for a big season by early indications (Scott Mitchell, Calgary Herald).

– The Stamps are in hostile territory this week for Ottawa’s home-opener. Can they pick up their first road win of 2016?

– A leader off the field and a playmaker on it, Zach Minter offers plenty of upside for his new team in Calgary (Max Campbell,


Toronto Argonauts quarterback Ricky Ray (15) looks for a receiver under pressure during first half CFL action against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, in Regina on Thursday, June 30, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Taylor

Justin Capicciotti and the Riders know they’ll have to gel quickly (The Canadian Press)

– After having to watch the Riders’ home-opener as a spectator, enough was enough for first overall pick Josiah St. John, who’s finally got a contract (Ian Hamilton, Regina Leader-Post).

– The Riders were hit with some bad news on Tuesday according to Rod Pedersen, who reports that Jonathan Williams will not play vs. Edmonton while Brendon Labatte is considered day to day. Meanwhile, recently-acquired Matt Sewell has reportedly retired (Rod Pedersen).

– On a defence with 12 new starters in all, Justin Capicciotti likens the Riders to the 2014 Ottawa REDBLACKS, stressing the need to gel quickly (Ian Hamilton, Regina Leader-Post).


Can Weston Dressler provide the spark the Bombers’ offence needs? (

– With Weston Dressler officially set to return to action on Thursday night, the Bombers’ offence should have a different look (Paul Friesen, Winnipeg Sun).

– Defensive back Bruce Johnson will not suit up for the Bombers in Week 3 and according to Gary Lawless will be replaced by Travis Hawkins, who started 15 games with the Argos last season (Gary Lawless, TSN).

– Also missing action will be Trent Corney, which means international Adrian Hubbard could draw into the fold opposite Jamaal Westerman on the Bombers’ D-line (Ted Wyman, Winnipeg Sun).


Adam Gagnon/

Ticats receiver Tiquan Underwood is swarmed by the Lions’ defence (Adam Gagnon/

– How the O-line responds will be key to the Ticats bouncing back Thursday night vs. Winnipeg (Steve Milton, Hamilton Spectator).

– Brett Maher had his struggles in his windy Tim Hortons Field debut, but doesn’t have long to think about it before getting a chance for redemption on Thursday night (Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press).

– Andy Fantuz says he’s particularly impressed by this year’s receiving corps in Hamilton (Terry Koshan, Chatham Daily Press).



Recently-traded Shawn Lemon and the Argos make for a solid pairing (

– Joining his former defensive coordinator in Rich Stubler in Toronto, newly-acquired Shawn Lemon and the Argos are a natural fit (Chris O’Leary, The Toronto Star).

– Cory Greenwood could a one of the league’s leaders in tackles when all is said and done this season. Why he’s a perfect fit for Rich Stubler’s defence (Frank Zicarelli, Toronto Sun).

– Containing one of the CFL’s most dangerous return men will be a difficult task for James Yurichuk and the Argos in Week 3 (Frank Zicarelli, Toronto Sun).



Kienan Lafrance could be the key to Ottawa’s backfield after an injury to Travon Van (The Canadian Press)

– While the Ottawa REDBLACKS continue to deal with injuries, Mossis Madu and Kienan Lafrance appear next in line to get carries out of the backfield (Tim Baines, Ottawa Sun).

– Henry Burris says he can grip a football but is still a few weeks away from returning for the REDBLACKS (A.J. Jakubec, TSN 1200).

– On the topic of Burris, the veteran QB knows getting his job back is far from guaranteed when he returns from injury (Tim Baines, Ottawa Citizen).

– Every time the REDBLACKS score a touchdown, a tree will be planted (Tim Baines, Ottawa Sun).



Duron Carter’s one-game suspension caps off a tough week for the Alouettes (The Canadian Press)

– While Duron Carter has been the centre of discussion this week, there were a lot of other things that happened in Week 2 in Ottawa (Matthew Cauz,