The B.C. Lions may have found a big body to fill the glaring vacancy on their defensive line left by the devastating offseason injury to prized free agent addition Steven ‘Stove’ Richardson, signing former Super Bowl champion Elijah Qualls on Thursday.
The 27-year-old most recently had a training camp stint with the New York Giants in 2021 and saw his last game action with the DC Defenders in the XFL in 2020.
Selected 214th overall in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, the six-foot-one, 320-pound nose tackle suited up in six games as a rookie and recorded three solo tackles. He would earn a Super Bowl ring when the Eagles took down New England 41-33 in February of 2018.
Following his time with the Eagles, Qualls had practice roster and training camp stints in Baltimore, Carolina and Tampa Bay.
He attended the University of Washington from 2013 to 2016, registering 78 total tackles (43 solo, 35 assisted), 12.5 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks. Qualls recorded six tackles in the 2016 Chick-Fill-A Peach Bowl against Alabama and capped off his Huskies career by earning first-team All-Pac 12 honours.
The team also signed American running back Taquan Mizzell.
The 28-year-old moves north following a five-year NFL stint highlighted by his time with the Chicago Bears from 2017-2018. In nine games, the five-foot-ten, 185-pound back rushed for 16 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.
Mizzell originally signed with the Baltimore Ravens as a undrafted free agent in 2017 and also had stops in New Orleans and with the New York Giants.
He played at the University of Virginia from 2013 to 2016 and became the first player in ACC history to record over 1,500 yards in both rushing and receiving.
His 2,075 career rushing yards rank 16th in program history while his 1,560 receiving yards are 12th all-time amongst Cavaliers. His 195 receptions are second-best in school history.
The club has also announced the retirement of Global defensive lineman Nik Gustav. The native of Hamurg, Germany dressed for 12 games last season, recording seven special teams tackles.