October 9, 2019

Checking Down: News and notes from Week 18

Arthur Ward/

TORONTO — There is a new starting quarterback this week for the REDBLACKS.

Will Arndt will start under centre for Ottawa when they travel to Toronto to take on the Argonauts.

The BC Lions will be without receiver Lemar Durant for the rest of the year after he suffered a season-ending foot injury.

It appears that running back C.J. Gable won’t play on Saturday for the Eskimos, instead it will be Shaq Cooper who starts.

Plus, there’s a new man in charge in Toronto as Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons was named the Argonauts’ general manager.

The latest news and notes from Week 18 in this week’s Checking Down:

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


Mike Reilly and Bryan Burnham’s connection in Week 17 was undeniable and earned them both Top Performer nods (The Canadian Press)

– The BC Lions have won four straight, but the path to making the playoffs will be easier said than done, as they have the second hardest remaining schedule (

– The Lions’ odds in several categories of the CFL Simulation have vastly improved with their currently four-game winning streak (

– BC is trying to keep their playoff hopes alive when they face the Edmonton Eskimos on Saturday night (

– The QB/receiver duo of Mike Reilly and Bryan Burnham were named Shaw Top Performers after Week 17 (

– Receiver Lemar Durant is out for the rest of the season with a foot injury (Karen Surman, TSN1040).


Kilgore left practice early on Tuesday but was back to the field on Wednesday ahead of the Esks hosting the Lions this weekend (The Canadian Press)

– C.J. Gable left last week’s game against the Tiger-Cats with a knee injury and will miss this week’s contest. Instead, Shaq Cooper will start at RB for Edmonton (Gerry Moddejonge, Edmonton Sun).

– Logan Kilgore left practice this week but head coach Jason Maas said that the QB was ‘just dealing with some stuff from the last game‘ and needed to rest his leg (Gerry Moddejonge, Edmonton Sun).

– QB Trevor Harris (arm), QB Logan Kilgore (leg), RB C.J.Gable (knee), WR Greg Ellingson (leg), WR Tevaun Smith, FB Calvin McCarty, DE Kwaku Boateng, CB Anthony Orange (leg) and DB Josh Johnson were all absent from practice on Tuesday (Gerry Moddejonge, Edmonton Sun).

– Despite leaving Tuesday’s practice early, Kilgore returned to the field on Wednesday (Morely Scott, 630CHED).



– With the first place Saskatchewan Roughriders ready to head to Calgary this weekend, the Stampeders know they need the win if they want to catch the Riders for the West Division crown (Danny Austin, Calgary Sun).

– Linebacker Marcus Ball had more action in practice on Wednesday (Danny Austin, Calgary Sun). 



– With a West Division title closer to reality, the Saskatchewan Roughriders are a team on the rise. More in the Nissan Titan Power Rankings (

– Head coach Craig Dickenson’s team-first message is being heard in the Roughriders locker room (Britton Gray, 980CJME).

– Linebacker Cameron Judge will likely miss this weekend’s game against the Calgary Stampeders (Derek Taylor, 620CKRM).

– Micah Teitz was practicing at WILL linebacker with the first-team defence on Wednesday (Derek Taylor, 620CKRM).

– With just four weeks left in the regular season, defensive tackle Micah Johnson is heating up at the right time for the Riders and contributing more than just sacks (Murray McCormick, Regina Leader-Post).


Receiver Darvin Adams was not at Bombers practice on Wednesday (Shannon Vizniowski/

– Jermarcus Hardrick was at practice on Wednesday while receiver Darvin Adams was not (Ed Tait,

– Head coach Mike O’Shea said Adams had another maintenance day and is expected to play on Saturday (Darrin Bauming, TSN1290).

– Riding a three-game losing skid, the Bombers approach this week at practice was to roll up their sleeves and get back to work (Ed Tait, 


Tyrell Sutton is hopeful he can help the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to a Grey Cup for the first time since 1999 (Shannon Vizniowski/

– Dane Evans was the most accurate passer in Week 17 as the pivot led his Ticats to a victory over the Edmonton Eskimos (Marshall Ferguson,

– Now a member of the team with the second-longest Grey Cup drought, Tyrell Sutton is doing everything in his power to help propel the Tabbies to their first championship since 1999 (Chris O’Leary,

– The Ticats don’t play in Week 18 but they still have a chance to lock up the East Division. More in this week’s Playoff Scenarios (



– The Toronto Argonauts announced Tuesday that the club has appointed Michael Clemons as the 20th General Manager in team history, replacing Jim Popp (

– The Argos have relieved Jim Popp of his duties as general manager, the team confirmed Tuesday morning (

– Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons takes over as the Toronto Argonauts general manager and he brings a spark and a little hope to the team with him (Chris O’Leary,

– For John Murphy, there was no hesitation to accept his new role for the Argos as VP of player personnel (Chris O’Leary,

– CFL analyst Davis Sanchez says that Clemons is a general manager players can ‘believe in and trust right from day one’ (

– With the news of a new general manager, Argos head coach Corey Chamblin wants to keep his current role with the team (

All five Argos QBs were at practice on Wednesday with McLeod Bethel-Thompson taking first team reps. James Franklin, Dakota Prukop and Michael O’Connor were in practice jerseys while Zach Collaros was in sweats (Matthew Scianitti, TSN).



– The Ottawa REDBLACKS announced on Monday that Will Arndt will be the team’s starter for their Week 18 game against the Toronto Argonauts (

– In roster news, the REDBLACKS signed former Carleton Raven offensive lineman K.C. Bakker and released offensive lineman D.J. Sackey (Tim Baines, Postmedia).

– Both Greg Morris and Brendan Gillanders were taking reps at practice this week and head coach Rick Campbell said the option of playing the two Canadians instead of American Mossis Madu is an option (Tim Baines, Postmedia).


Tony Washington suffered a broken leg last week and is out for the season (The Canadian Press)

– The Montreal Alouettes gave up over 500 yards of offence last week against the Calgary Stampeders but they still won the game. How did they do it? (Matthew Cauz,

– Als offensive lineman Tony Washington suffered a broken leg last week against the Stamps and will miss the rest of the season (

– He didn’t have any CFL experience heading into the 2019 season but Alouettes defensive coordinator Bob Slowick is making a huge impact (John Lu, TSN).

– In roster news, American DB Justin Gibbons and American QB David Pindell were added to the team’s practice roster on Tuesday (Montreal Alouettes)