Philippe Gagnon returns to Alouettes on one-year deal

MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes announced on Thursday that the club has signed Canadian offensive lineman Philippe Gagnon to a one-year-deal, as he returns to the team that drafted him in 2016.

Gagnon spent the 2019 season with the Ottawa REDBLACKS after playing his first three professional seasons with the Alouettes. Drafted in the first round (second overall) by Montreal in 2016, the 27-year-old played 45 career games in the CFL, including 36 as a starter.

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In 2019, the L’Ancienne-Lorette, QC native played nine games with Ottawa, including eight as a starter. During his last season in Montreal in 2018, Gagnon was part of an offensive line that allowed running back Tyrell Sutton to gain 843 rushing yards on 152 carries while scoring five majors. In 2017, along with his teammates on the offensive line, he helped create openings which allowed the Alouettes to finish in third place in the CFL with 1,718 rushing yards, averaging 95.4 rushing yards per game.

“We are very happy to add a player of Philippe’s calibre to our roster,” Alouettes general manager Danny Maciocia said in a statement. “His work ethic, his relentlessness and his toughness will be important assets on our offensive line, whose depth has just been greatly augmented.”

Gagnon helped the Université Laval Rouge et Or win back-to-back Vanier Cups in 2012 and 2013.

The team also announced that it has added American defensive back Darius West to the roster.

West suited up for the University of Kentucky. In 36 collegiate games with the Wildcats, the 24-year-old safety from Lima, Ohio recorded 189 tackles, including five tackles for loss. He also knocked down five passes and made four interceptions.