June 5, 2024

Cauz: 8 players I’m happy to see back in action in 2024

Kevin Sousa/CFL.ca

Hey everyone, look who’s back on the football field?!?

Isn’t that 2021 Most Outstanding Special Teams player award winner DeVonte Dedmon? I make it a rule to not overanalyze what I see in the preseason. I do not jump to conclusions, proclaim a star is born at quarterback or pronounce this team is going to win the Grey Cup.

However, that doesn’t mean I don’t get excited about certain moments. I don’t deny joy in my life.

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Seeing this 91-yard punt return touchdown by Dedmon certainly put a little extra pep in my step with the 2024 regular season right around the corner.

Last year, a shoulder injury rendered 2023 a lost season for the star returner who was sorely missed by the Ottawa REDBLACKS offence. After seeing that quick cut soon after receiving the punt and the speed to outrace the Hamilton Tiger-Cats special teams, it looked like Dedmon is primed for a bounce-back year.

In honour of the potential return to All-Star form for Dedmon, here are several other players I’m thrilled to see back after missing significant time due to injury.


I feel like I am cheating by adding MBT so let’s say this list is for players we missed seeing last year as a result of injuries or “other” and in this case the other was leading the USFL in passing yards in 2023.

Bethel-Thompson has also led the CFL in passing yards and passing touchdowns and was a massive part of the Toronto Argonauts winning the 2022 Grey Cup. His signing with Edmonton gives us a good old fashioned quarterback debate between Bethel-Thompson and Tre Ford with a coach in Chris Jones who has never been shy of controversy.

From a media side of things, having the two-time East Division All-Star back means we’re all going to be treated to some lengthy introspective quotes you don’t often hear from a locker room and there is no guarantee you will 100% understand the meaning.


After spending four seasons in Hamilton, Dylan Wynn is now a member of the Montreal Alouettes after signing as a free agent this off-season (Kevin Sousa/CFL.ca)

We barely got to see Dylan play last year as he was coming back from a serious knee injury in 2022 that delayed his return and an arm injury that furthered limited his 2023.

Four games, four tackles and just one sack is not what anyone would expect from a Dylan Wynn season. The three-time East Division All-Star Wynn should fit in perfectly with Mustafa Johnson and the rest of what should be a terrorizing Montreal Alouettes defence.


In 2022 Carey was on the top of the league leading the CFL in rushing yards and putting up 10 touchdowns. Of course, the cruelty of that position reared its ugly head in 2023 as quad and toe injuries cut his season in half and in the off-season the Calgary Stampeders decided to go younger.

I’m excited to see the old Carey back, who, even with injuries, still averages well over five yards a carry playing behind a talented offensive line.


I’m going to lump the Ottawa REDBLACKS wide receiver and quarterback into a special “all my fingers are crossed, but I am not setting any high expectations” with these two former All-Stars. Addison appeared in eight games and finished with 272 yards.

It’s been five years since his star season with Hamilton (1,236 receiving yards, seven touchdowns) and since then his career has been beset with a variety of injuries.

The big news with Masoli is he restructured his contract to stay in Ottawa but, again, there are no guarantees for a quarterback who has gone from franchise quarterback to gruelling off-seasons rehabilitating an Achilles tendon or an ACL tear.


After being away from football since 2018, James’ return to Calgary in 2023 got off to a flying start with five sacks in his first six games before an arm injury ended his season on July 23.

Now James is back with a new contract and added responsibilities with the departure of Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund and Derek Wiggan. Vaughters could easily hit double digits in sacks playing on a line with Mike Rose and Julian Howsare.


Julien-Grant’s story is similar to that of Vaughters. The Montreal Alouettes receiver kicked off 2023 with 486 receiving yards in his first six games before a hand injury sent him to the six-game injured list. His return was short lived because of a shoulder injury.

Kaion has 1,000-yard talent playing for a team that saw Austin Mack head south. 2024 could be his breakout season.


Let’s end with the two-time MOP, where I imagine I am not alone in saying I am both excited to see what fully healthy and motivated Mitchell looks like in Hamilton. I’m also nervous as it has been about six years since we got the version of Mitchell who was dominating the league from 2014-18.

Last year, the 34-year-old was plagued by both injuries that kept him off the field and poor play on the field. After Week 8, Mitchell had a total of 35 pass attempts in the regular season and saw Matthew Shiltz start in the Tiger-Cats 27-12 playoff loss to Montreal.

So much about what the complexion of the East Division looks like hinges on the health and effectiveness of this future Hall of Famer.

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