Khari Jones had ‘no thoughts at all’ about pulling Vernon Adams Jr. late in lopsided win over Elks

Photo courtesy: Dominick Gravel

The Montreal Alouettes had a sensational regular season debut this past weekend, defeating the Edmonton Elks in a one-sided contest at Commonwealth Stadium.

The offence made big plays, the defence generated pressure, and the special teams scored on a brilliant punt return touchdown by Mario Alford. One of the only questions coming out of the game was why the Alouettes let star quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. remain in the game until the final whistle, risking injury in the process.

When asked postgame about his decision to not make a quarterback change, head coach Khari Jones said it never occurred to him to pull Adams from the game.

“No thoughts at all. I’ve been in a lot of CFL games where ‘out of reach’ is not out of reach, and so leads can go pretty quickly. We’ve been on the side of making leads go away from other people, so I’ll never take a lead for granted,” said Jones. “More reps can only be good for [Adams]. He was really good today.”

Adams established himself as a bonafide star in 2019 when he led Montreal to the playoffs for the first time in five seasons. He didn’t show any signs of rust in Week 2, completing 13-of-21 pass attempts for 211 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed seven times for 29 yards while using his legs to buy time behind the line of scrimmage when necessary.

Jones admitted that the long layoff made him feel a little bit rusty along the sidelines, though it didn’t take long for things to start clicking back into place.

“There were a couple of times that I hesitated on a call or two or had something that was in my mind, but kinda changed it here or there. But overall it felt pretty good, it went back into the same rhythms. It felt pretty good. It felt alright,” said Jones.

The Alouettes are set to visit the winless Calgary Stampeders this upcoming Friday at McMahon Stadium.

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.