Here’s a little something to bear in mind as the Montreal Alouettes come to town for Saturday night’s regular-season finale against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
It wasn’t Jeremiah Masoli who rendered Johnny Manziel expendable in that trade with the Montreal Alouettes back in late July. Masoli was always going to be June Jones’ starter, so it was his current backup Dane Evans, with a strong-throwing training camp, who allowed the Tiger-Cats to act on what was a profitable deal for them.
And now Evans will start his first professional football game against those very Alouettes. Masoli won’t play at all, and we’re still waiting to see how much, if at all, Manziel is going to play.
“It’s kind of crazy to think about, ” Evans was saying Thursday. “Johnny and I were roommates on all the away trips when he was here. We bonded: I didn’t hate him, he didn’t hate me, nothing like that at all. We were good buds. When we played them in Montreal, Jeremiah, Johnny and I were out there, all talking, we were just wearing different colours.”
After being cut by the Philadelphia Eagles before the 2017 season, Evans returned to his alma mater Tulsa as an assistant coach, before the Ticats signed him to the practice roster on October 23.
His last start came nearly 23 months ago, when he threw for five touchdowns in Tulsa’s 55-10 victory over Central Michigan in the Miami Beach Bowl.
“It’s really cool, man, to finally get a chance, ” Evans said.
“I’ve been preparing all season every week with Jeremiah. Now I can just go out and play and not really worry about anything: have fun like you were a little kid.”
In earlier mop-ups for Masoli, Evans went 3-for-3 in Montreal, and 1-for-2 against B.C.
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