Montreal has been identifying potential quarterback options following Vernon Adams’ concussion in Week 8.
The best one is already in La Belle Province: Laval product Hugo Richard.
Adams sustained a head injury on a hit from Redblacks’ defensive end J.R. Tavai. Tavai made helmet-to-helmet contact, but there was no flag on the play.
Adams will miss game action and Richard should be added to the active roster. Since being signed, Richard has been learning the playbook and what it takes to be a pro while also taking reps on the defensive side of the football at safety.
When Richard was inked to a deal the move created a buzz around Quebec. He did too many television and radio segments to count — the province loves the Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville native. It would be a positive public relations move and one that could enhance the Als’ roster in the short and long term.
The 24-year-old has special teams bonuses in his contract, which is part of the reason Montreal wanted to bring Richard into the fold. Montreal feels he could chip-in on special teams while developing as a quarterback, not unlike Bryan Bennett in Saskatchewan or Dakota Prukop in Toronto. Due to small game day roster sizes in the CFL, players with versatile abilities are coveted.
Richard knows the playbook better than any other quarterback the Alouettes could possibly find — Brandon Bridge would be the next logical option, having recently spent time in Montreal — and allows the roster to be deeper by lining up on some special teams units. He knows how to lead and contribute when called upon.
The Laval University product led the Rouge et Or to the 2018 Vanier Cup title, the second USports national championship of his illustrious post-secondary career. He went a remarkable 46-7 as the starting quarterback for Laval while winning the Quebec conference MVP award on three occasions. Through his five-year career at Laval, Richard passed for 10,271 yards, 70 touchdowns and rushed for 30 more.
Should Adams be out for any longer period of time, Richard deserves the promotion. Dressing and seeing what a pro atmosphere is like on game day could be valuable for the the rookie as he strives to progress. Antonio Pipkin and Matthew Shiltz have playing experience and Richard could round out the position group.