Backup Jake Maier replaces injured Stampeders’ quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell

Photo courtesy: David Moll/Calgary Stampeders

The injury bug has once again bitten Calgary Stampeders’ quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, as backup Jake Maier was forced to enter the CFL season opener late in the fourth quarter.

Mitchell was 21-of-34 for 199 yards, one touchdown and one interception in roughly 57 minutes of action against the Montreal Alouettes, before suffering an apparent ankle injury. The injury did not appear to be serious, but backup Jake Maier was inserted into the ballgame with the score tied 27-27 with just over three minutes remaining.

Maier went 4-of-5 for 57 yards in his limited action, setting up kicker Rene Paredes for the eventual game-winning field goal.

The 32-year-old Mitchell has battled injuries the last two seasons but entered training camp feeling the best he had in years. However, the threat of a quarterback controversy had loomed after Maier impressed in his rookie season.

Maier played 11 games for Calgary and made three starts (2-1) while Mitchell was recovering from a broken leg. During his rookie season, the six-foot, 212-pound pivot completed 64.2 percent of his passes for 1,211 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions. He also carried the ball 16 times for 31 yards and two touchdowns and made one catch for six yards.

In Maier’s CFL debut in Week 3, he earned the victory as the starting QB against the Montreal Alouettes. And his second start saw him set a franchise record by completing 17 consecutive passes. He helped the Stamps rally from a 12-point deficit in Week 16 against Winnipeg with five minutes remaining to earn the win.

Mitchell has been a mainstay in Calgary for the past decade and eclipsed the 30,000 career passing mark in 2021, becoming the 18th player in CFL history to do so. He went 7-4 as a starter in the regular season despite suffering a broken leg, completing 64.9 percent of his passing for 2,594 yards, 10 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions.