News, notes and roster updates ahead of Sunday’s game between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Montreal Alouettes.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (4-11) at Montreal Alouettes (3-12)
Percival Molson Stadium
Sun., Oct. 22
Game time: 1 p.m.
TV: TSN Radio: TSN 1150
The storyline for Hamilton: The Ticats were eliminated from playoff contention with a loss to Calgary last Friday and Ottawa’s last-second victory over Saskatchewan and now face the prospect of three meaningless games to end 2017. Head coach June Jones says the team will do its best to win all three, including playing a veteran-laden line up, instead of using it as an opportunity to develop players with an eye to next season.
Key roster notes for Hamilton: Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli gets the start as the team will field a line up very similar to the one that lost to Calgary last week. Canadian receiver Mike Jones return to the line up for the first time since serving a two game suspension for performance enhancing drugs, while receiver Junior Collins, running back Ross Scheuerman and defensive back Dante Blackmon have also been added. Coming off the roster are receivers Andy Fantuz and Jalen Saunders, defensive back Osagie Odiase, and kick returner Willie Quinn. Centre Mike Filer and defensive end Adrian Tracy missed time at practice this week but are will play while receiver Jalen Saunders is a game time decision.
The storyline for Montreal: The Alouettes are the only team with a worse record than the Ticats and have missed the playoffs for the second straight season. Owners Bob and Andrew Wettenhall have already decided to bring back general manager Kavis Reed for a second season and he said this week they’ll use the last three games to get a look at some players who may be part of their future plans. Reed is also handling the coaching duties, having dismissed Jacques Chapdelaine on Sept. 13, but will not to return to the sidelines next season.
Key roster notes for Montreal: Quarterback Darian Durant gets the start and Reed has said the veteran needs to show he can continue to play at a high level as the team looks ahead to next season. Matt Shiltz is listed as the back up, Drew Willy – who started last week– at No. 3. Veteran linebacker Chip Cox suffered a knee injury last week against Edmonton and is done for the year.
Five funky stats about this game:
1. In the last 20 years (1997-2017), there have been only three previous late season meetings between two clubs eliminated from playoff contention. The Ticats were involved in two of them (1997, 2007.)
2. The Alouettes come into this week with an eight-game losing streak their longest since 1981. They have been outscored 308-124, an average margin of -23.0 points.
3. Richard Leonard is second is second in the CFL in total takeaways with seven, has a CFL-leading fumble recoveries for 84 yards and has added four interceptions. Leonard also leads the league with 12 pass knockdowns.
4. Brandon Banks has posted three straight 100-yard receiving games, the first Ticat to do so since Mac Cody in 1996.
5. Since Anthony Calvillo’s last game in August, 2013 the Alouettes have had started a CFL-high 11 different quarterbacks (Neiswander, Marsh, Smith, Brink, Crompton, Cato, Glenn, Bridge, Adams, Durant, Willy).
6. Three of Hamilton’s four wins have come on the road and the team is just 1-7 at Tim Hortons Field this season.
7. Ticat linebacker Larry Dean needs 18 tackles to reach 100 on the season becoming the first Hamilton player to do so since Jamall Johnson in 2010.
8. Ticat receiver Luke Tasker needs 142 yards to reach 1,000 for the season.
9. Montreal linebacker Kyries Hebert needs four defensive tackles to reach 100 for the first time in his career.
10. Veteran Alouette defensive end John Bowman can reach 200 games played by season’s end if he dresses for the final three weeks.
TSN play-by-play: Rod Black and Duane Forde
Referee: Dave Foxcroft
Weather: Partly cloudy, 20 degrees, winds out of the East at 10 km/h.