At midway point of CFL season, Riders have been league’s most injured team

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

We’ve officially reached the midway point of the CFL season, which led me to wonder which teams have suffered the most injuries so far this year.

Not all injuries are equal, of course — losing a starting quarterback is obviously much more costly than a rotational player. To provide some context for the numbers below, I’ve highlighted key players who have been out for each team and the extent of their injuries.

I have also provided a per-game average for injuries as Montreal has only played six games so far, while the rest of the league’s teams have played seven.

It should also be noted that some teams regularly carry uninjured players on the one-game injured list. This practice is permitted because player earnings are still applied to the salary cap while they are on the one-game injured list, which negates any potential competitive advantage.

Here are how all nine CFL teams stack up regarding injuries at the midway point of the 2021 season.

Photo courtesy: B.C. Lions

B.C. Lions — 37 man games lost (5.2/game)

Ryker Mathews has been B.C.’s most impactful injury this season, though the offensive tackle is slated to complete his tenure on the six-game injured list soon. Starting receiver Dominique Rhymes has missed three games with a foot injury, though the emergence of Keon Hatcher has helped lessen the blow.

Montreal Alouettes — 49 man games lost (8.2/game)

Montreal has carried an extra running back (Cameron Artis-Payne) and an extra receiver (Dante Absher or Quan Bray) on the one-game injured list all season, inflating their injury total. Only one player has been on the six-game injured list since the start of the year — national offensive lineman Samuel Thomassin, a 2019 second-round pick out of Laval.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers — 61 man games lost (8.7/game)

Mercy Maston has missed all seven of Winnipeg’s games and will be out for rest of the season with a torn Achilles. Janarion Grant, Josh Johnson, Kyrie Wilson, and Steven Richardson have been out almost the entire season thus far but most should be eligible to return this week when the Blue Bombers visit BC Place.

Photo Scott Grant /

Calgary Stampeders — 75 man games lost (10.7/game)

Jamar Wall recently completed his stint on the six-game injured list, though it remains unclear if he will return in Week 9. Charlie Power has been out all season with an Achilles tear, while defensive ends Folarin Orimolade, Cassanova McKinzey, Jarrell Owens, and Chris Odom have accounted for 16 of Calgary’s man games lost.

Edmonton Elks — 84 man games lost (12/game)

Nate Anderson, Dotun Aketepe, and Colin Kelly have all been on the six-game injured list since the start of the season, accounting for 21 of Edmonton’s man games lost. Alain Pae, Scott Hutter, Malik Tyne, and SirVincent Rogers have missed 23 games combined, while slotback Armanti Edwards has been out for the last four.

Toronto Argonauts — 85 man games lost (12.1/game)

Isaiah Cage, Drake Nevis, Cordarro Law, and Bear Woods have been on the six-game injured list all season, while Shane Ray, Kony Ealy, Jack Cassar, and Robertson Daniel have been out almost all year as well. Henoc Muamba was added to the six-game injured list this past week, which will be a tough hole for the Argos to fill.

Photo courtesy:

Hamilton Tiger-Cats — 88 man games lost (12.6/game)

Game-breakers Bralon Addison and DeVier Posey have yet to dress for a game this season, while No. 1 overall 2021 CFL Draft pick Jake Burt was on the one-game injured for Hamilton’s first seven games. Reigning league Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman Chris Van Zeyl has missed six of seven games, while Brandon Banks has missed the last three.

Ottawa Redblacks — 92 man games lost (13.1/game)

Sherrod Baltimore, Abdul Kanneh, Dan Basambombo, Stansly Maponga Sr., and Jordan Smallwood have all been on the six-game injured list for the past month and were recently joined by quarterbacks Dominique Davis and Matt Nichols. Ball carriers Anthony Coombs, Timothy Flanders, and Justin Davis have all had stints on the one-game.

Saskatchewan Roughriders — 106 man games lost (15.1/game)

A large handful of Saskatchewan’s players have been on the six-game injured list since the season began, including Freddie Bishop III, Larry Dean, Vincent Dethier, Jonathan Femi-Cole, Nelson Lokombo, Jordan Reaves, Terran Vaughn, and Tim Williams. Paxton Lynch has been listed on the one-game injured list four times, albeit it as a healthy scratch.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.