June 19, 2019

Checking Down: News and notes from Week 2

The Canadian Press

TORONTO — All eyes will be on Mike Reilly this weekend as the pivot makes his much anticipated return to Edmonton.

After putting up over 600 yards last weekend, can the Eskimos offence continue their dominance this week?

With starting quarterback Zach Collaros placed on the 6-game, Cody Fajardo and Issac Harker will see time under centre for the Riders against Ottawa.

Plus, after defeating the reigning Grey Cup champs, is it finally time to stop doubting the Ottawa REDBLACKS?

All that and more in a busy week of Checking Down:

Jump to team:

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


All eyes are on Mike Reilly this week as the pivot makes his return to Edmonton (The Canadian Press)

– Quarterback Mike Reilly is making his return to Edmonton this week and he knows there’s going to be a bit of displeasure from the fan base he left behind this off-season (CFL.ca).

– Reilly isn’t the only one returning to his old team this weekend, defensive back Aaron Grymes is also playing his former squad as the Lions travel to Edmonton (BCLions.com).

– After rushing just four yards in their season opener, the BC Lions, and running back John White, are looking to get their run game in gear this week as they prepare for the Eskimos (J.J. Adams, The Province)


Harris will look to continue his stellar offensive performance from Week 1 on Friday night against BC (Walter Tychnowicz/CFL.ca)

– With a stellar season-opener under his belt, Trevor Harris is now focusing on carrying that momentum to the Esks Week 2 matchup against the BC Lions (CFL.ca).

Trevor Harris was on target and was the league’s most accurate passer of the opening week of the 2019 campaign (Marshall Ferguson, CFL.ca).

– After their impressive Week 1 performances, Trevor Harris and running back CJ Gable were named Shaw Top Performers of the week (CFL.ca)

– Edmonton is welcoming a familiar face at this weekend’s game as former Esk Brandon Zylstra will be in attendance on Friday to watch his old team in their home opener (CFL.ca).

– An offensive explosion from the Edmonton Eskimos against the Alouettes was surprising to some players with just training camp under their belts (Dave Campbell, CHED).

– Linebacker Don Unamba left last week’s game with an injury and had an M.R.I on Monday (Dave Campbell, CHED).


Tre Roberson nabbed three interceptions in his team’s season-opening loss to Ottawa (The Canadian Press)

– A hat trick of interceptions from defensive back Tre Roberson was a bright spot in the Stampeders loss to the Ottawa REDBLACKS in Week 1 (George Johnson, Stampeders.com).

– CFL.ca’s Davis Sanchez said that it’s no surprise Tre Roberson had a breakout performance in the opening week of the season, saying the fact that Roberson used to be a QB is why the DB’s route recognition was so impressive (TSN.ca)  


Cody Fajardo gets the nod as the Riders starter this week against Ottawa (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca)

– After spending years apart from his wife so they could both follow their dreams, Riders new play-by-play voice Derek Taylor has finally found a home in Regina with her (Chris O’Leary, CFL.ca).

– Quarterback Zach Collaros was placed on the 6-game injured list on Monday after he suffered an injury in the first offensive series of the Riders season opener in Hamilton (CFL.ca).

– With Collaros sidelined, Riders head coach Craig Dickenson named Cody Fajardo as the team’s starter but rookie Isaac Harker will also play (CFL.ca).

– Both Fajardo and Harker are slated to play in Thursday’s contest against the REDBLACKS but is having rotating quarterbacks the best game plan? (Rob Vanstone, Regina Leader-Post).

– The Roughriders added quarterback Bryan Bennett earlier this week. The pivot re-joins the Riders after spending training camp in 2017 with the team (Justin Dunk, 3 Down Nation).


The Bombers new starting safety, Jeff Hecht, made sure everyone knew his name after his impressive Week 1 performance (Jimmy Jeong/CFL.ca)

– The Winnipeg Blue Bombers offensive line answered any questions there might have been heading into Week 1 with a dominant performance against the Lions (Jim Morris, CFL.ca).

– Week 1 featured plenty of impressive performances, but don’t overlook Bombers new starting safety Jeff Hecht (Jim Morris, CFL.ca).

– Winnipeg wasted little time flexing their figurative muscles in 2019, topping the Nissan Titan Power Rankings following Week 1 (CFL.ca).

– No running back has ever led the league in rushing yards three years in a row but Andrew Harris is off to a good start, rushing 148 yards last week and earning a Top Performer nod (Paul Friesen, Winnipeg Sun).

– Riding the momentum of a big win, the Blue Bombers head out on a bye in Week 2 and they have a different approach to their week off this early in the season (Paul Friesen, Winnipeg Sun).

– Matt Nichols wore a ‘game manager’ cap at a press conference on Monday, showing the pivot’s sense of humour in making light of a description he’s gotten from various members of the media over the last few seasons (Ed Tait, BlueBombers.com).


Coombs was added to the Ticats practice roster on Wednesday (Adam Gagnon/CFL.ca)

– The CFL announced on Monday that it has issued a two-game suspension to Hamilton Tiger-Cats linebacker Simoni Lawrence (CFL.ca).

– Hamilton added former Toronto Argonaut Anthony Coombs to the team’s practice roster on Wednesday (CFL.ca).

– Along with Coombs, the Ticats added international defensive end Koron Crump and two other internationals, DB Will Likely III and WR Jalin Marshall, to the team’s practice roster (Ticats.ca).


James Wilder Jr. has some added motivation heading into the 2019 season (Shannon Vizniowski/CFL.ca)

Declan Cross is willing to do anything it takes to be the best football player he can be, including adding Olympic weight lifting into his football routine (Frank Zicarelli, Toronto Sun).

– Corey Chamblin has returned to Toronto as the team’s head coach and is more motivated than ever to prove he’s a winning bench boss (Jamie Nye, CFL.ca).

– The tragic death of a close friend fuels running back James Wilder Jr. as the new season is on the horizon (Frank Zicarelli, Toronto Sun).


Stellar play from the team’s all-Canadian offensive line helped Mossis Madu rush over 100 yards last week (Larry MacDougal/CFL.ca)

– Nate Behar, Mickael Cote and J.R. Tavai were all added to the REDBLACKS’ injured list and will not play on Thursday night. Randall Evans, Kevin Francis and Nigel Romick slot in (Tim Baines, Ottawa Sun).

– The REDBLACKS offensive line is excited about the team’s ground game after running back Mossis Madu rushed for 112 yards on 24 carries against the Stamps last week (Tim Baines, Ottawa Sun).

– With their win over the reigning Grey Cup champions, is it time to stop doubting the Ottawa REDBLACKS? (CFL.ca).


Vernon Adams replaced Pipkin in the Alouettes loss to the Eskimos last week (Walter Tychnowicz/CFL.ca)

– The Alouettes announced on Wednesday that the team has added CFL alum Robert Gordon to their coaching staff as receivers coach (MontrealAlouettes.com).

– After taking over for an injured Antonio Pipkin in the Als opener, Vernon Adams Jr., says he is still fully supporting the team’s starting pivot (TSN690).