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May 19, 2019

Checking Down: News and notes from the first day of camp

TORONTO — The first day of training camp brings plenty of news from across the Canadian Football League.

Brandon Banks and Emmanuel Arceneaux both took the field after injuries ended their 2018 season, while Adam Konar and Chris Van Zeyl have found new teams after being released.

Meanwhile, some of the CFL’s biggest position battles are already under way, including along the offensive line in Winnipeg.

We’re Checking Down with the latest from CFL training camp:

Jump to team:

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


Bryan Burnham leads the Lions onto the field on the first day of camp in Kamloops (BC Lions)

– Days after being released, Vancouver native Adam Konar has reportedly inked a deal with the BC Lions (Davis Sanchez,

– New Lions head coach DeVone Claybrooks said the team landed every off-season target, as there wasn’t a player that didn’t want to come to BC (Ed Willes, Vancouver Province).

– With a new-look veteran core, the Lions are embracing a ‘culture change’ as they take the field in Kamloops, B.C. (TSN).

– Lions receiver Duron Carter is predicting a big season statistically as one of Mike Reilly’s top receivers (TSN).


Jason Maas is hoping to get a new-look offence on the same page early in 2019 (The Canadian Press)

– After signing him in the off-season, the Eskimos have released veteran receiver Kenny Shaw and added Mikael Charland (

– In their first camp together, Trevor Harris says DaVaris Daniels has the ability to be a 1,400-yard receiver in the CFL (

– Esks off-season addition Jovan Santos-Knox is not participating in the team’s first training camp session (Dave Campbell, CHED).

– As expected, the Eskimos are going with three Americans on the O-line early in camp as Travis Bond battles for a starting job at guard (Dave Campbell, CHED).


– Stamps head coach Dave Dickenson said the team could go all-Canadian in the middle of the defensive line (

– The Stampeders have released running back and returner Romar Morris, who suffered an apparent Achilles injury last November (


Riders off-season acquisition Micah Johnson is pictured during Sunday’s workout (

– Good news for Riders fans on Sunday, as off-season addition Emmanuel Arceneaux was on the field with the rest of the team. Arceneaux is coming off a season-ending injury in 2018 (Murray McCormick, Regina Leader-Post).

– Dan Clark attended Riders camp on Sunday but did not participate after being in an off-season car accident (Murray McCormick, Regina Leader-Post).

– Riders second round draft pick Brayden Lenius reportedly left Sunday’s session after injuring his hamstring (Murray McCormick, Regina Leader-Post).

– The Riders have added former Eskimos defensive end Gerald Rivers and also activated kicker Felix Menard-Briere from the suspended list (

– Riders pivot Zach Collaros could benefit from being the uncontested number one starter in the team’s training camp (Murray McCormick, Regina Leader-Post).


Sixth-year head coach Mike O’Shea leads what could be a competitive camp in Winnipeg (

– Recently-signed Lucky Whitehead, known as an electrifying speedster, is vying for the opportunity to return kicks this training camp for the Bombers (Ted Wyman, Winnipeg Sun).

– Back on the field where his career started, things have come full circle for Bombers receiver Chris Matthews (

– It appears Geoff Gray and Michael Couture are getting the starting assignments early in camp for the Bombers (Ed Tait,

– Receiver Kenbrell Thompkins has been added to the Bombers’ suspended list after failing to report to training camp (Ted Wyman, Winnipeg Sun).

– The Bombers have released international pass-catcher Josh Stewart on the first day of training camp, the team announced.


Orlondo Steinauer is running his first training camp as a CFL head coach (

– Chris Van Zeyl was already taking first-team reps at right tackle on Sunday, giving the Ticats four Canadian starters on their offensive line (Chris O’Leary,

– According to’s Marshall Ferguson, versatile defensive back Jackson Bennett is taking reps at running back in Ticats training camp (Marshall Ferguson,

– Brandon Banks is testing his surgically-repaired shoulder/collarbone as he deals with a plate inside his shoulder following last year’s season-ending injury (Matthew Scianitti, TSN).

– Tempers flared early in Ticats camp Sunday, as receiver Jaelon Acklin and veteran corner Delvin Breaux were caught in a practice scuffle (Chris O’Leary,


James Franklin is pictured wearing his new No. 8 during the Argos’ first practice (

– While many believe James Franklin to be the Argos’ No. 1 quarterback, the 27-year-old won’t be handed anything in his second camp in Toronto (Frank Zicarelli, Toronto Sun).

– A day after releasing Chris Van Zeyl, the Argos have signed national offensive lineman Josiah St. John. They also added a new kicker in Canadian Tyler Crapigna (


Jonathon Jennings will battle for Ottawa’s starting quarterback job this spring (Robert Greeley/Ottawa REDBLACKS)

– As the REDBLACKS open camp, Marshall Ferguson has eyes on one of the most intriguing position battles this spring (

– Already one of the most important players in Ottawa, Brad Sinopoli could see an even bigger role with the REDBLACKS in 2019 (Marshall Ferguson,


Kavis Reed hopes his team can finally get over the hump and compete for a playoff spot in 2019 (Montreal Alouettes)

– The Alouettes have released veteran Ernest Jackson and signed Canadian QB Chris Merchant in a series of moves announced Sunday (

– The emergence of Montreal’s younger receivers may have pushed veteran Ernest Jackson off the roster (Joey Alfieri, TSN 960).

– As William Stanback becomes a star on the field, the Alouettes’ young running back is embracing a new life in Montreal (Stu Cowan, Montreal Gazette).