Ottawa becomes first team since 1994 to dress zero QBs with CFL experience for a game

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

The Ottawa Redblacks are doing something no CFL team has done in over 27 years.

Rookie pivots Caleb Evans and Taryn Christion are the two quarterbacks on Ottawa’s roster in Week 9 after Matt Nichols and Dominique Davis were added to the six-game injured list. Neither player has previously dressed for a CFL game, which is exceptionally rare but not entirely unprecedented.

According to CFL stats guru Steve Daniel, the last time a CFL team played a game without any quarterbacks with previous CFL experience on the roster was Week 1 of the 1994 season. Rookie quarterbacks Anthony Calvillo and Len Williams were under centre for the Las Vegas Posse and led the team to a 32-26 win over the Sacramento Gold Miners.

The Toronto Argonauts came close to achieving this feat in Week 1 of the 2010 season when Cleo Lemon and Ken Dorsey appeared in their first CFL game. Third-string quarterback Dalton Bell was on the roster as well, however, and though he never took a snap, he dressed for 18 games with Saskatchewan the previous season.

Ottawa’s offence has struggled with Nichols and Davis at the helm this season with the unit currently ranked last in points per game (11.8), eighth in passing yards per game (208.3), and seventh in rushing yards per game (71.8).

Evans and Christion will look to provide a spark for the Redblacks this week as they host the Edmonton Elks (2-4) at TD Place on Tuesday night. Calvillo ended up being arguably the greatest CFL quarterback of all-time — maybe that’s a good omen?