McLeod Bethel-Thompson named Argos’ Week 1 starter

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

The Toronto Argonauts have named their starting quarterback one day earlier than promised, appointing McLeod Bethel-Thompson as the man to lead the team on August 7 against the Calgary Stampeders.

Bethel-Thompson led the CFL in touchdown passes with 26 back in 2019, whiled also tossing 13 interceptions in 13 starts for the Boatmen. He completed 68 percent of his passes for 4,024 yards.

The six-foot-four, 220-pound QB amassed nine games with at least 300 yards passing and two with over 400 yards in 2019, but found himself in a heated QB competition in training camp with prized free agent acquisition Nick Arbuckle.

Arbuckle was expected to earn the starting job in Toronto but has been hampered by a hamstring injury in training camp. He was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday and will dress for the season opener, but head coach Ryan Dinwiddie doesn’t feel comfortable putting his injured quarterback on the field. That means that Bethel-Thompson retains his job for at least one week.

Bethel-Thompson joined Toronto in 2017 and helped the organization win its 17th Grey Cup that season. Prior to his time in the CFL, Bethel-Thompson made nine NFL stops with five different teams between 2011 and 2016; San Francisco (three times), Miami (twice), Minnesota (twice), New England and Philadelphia.

During that time he also played with the San Jose SaberCats of the Arena Football League, the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League and was on the practice roster of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers before his move to the Argos.

The 32-year-old pivot most recently played for the Aviators of The Spring League  after opting out of his contract during the canceled 2020 season, throwing for nearly 700 yards and five touchdowns in three games.