Lockdown cornerback Delvin Breaux listed as questionable for B.C. Lions debut

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym

The B.C. Lions could be without the services of prized free-agent addition Delvin Breaux when they open their season Saturday against the Edmonton Elks.

The lockdown cornerback has not practiced since Tuesday while dealing with an elbow injury and is listed as questionable on the team’s final injury report.

The 32-year-old Breaux did not play in 2021, announcing his retirement in March of that year due to the continued uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. He unretired to join the Lions in free agency this offseason after spending his entire CFL tenure with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Breaux played 49 career games with the Tabbies over four seasons, which included two separate two-year stints from 2013 to 2014 and 2018 to 2019. He recorded 110 defensive tackles, 16 pass knockdowns, six forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, three tackles for loss, two interceptions, two touchdowns — one interception return, one fumble return — and one quarterback sack.

The six-foot-one, 210-pound boundary cornerback has played in three Grey Cup games. He earned three-down league all-star honours twice while being named an East Division All-Star three times and was voted to the CFL’s first all-decade team in November 2020.

Between CFL stints, Breaux spent three seasons in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints, appearing in 22 games in 2015 and 2016 before missing the 2017 season due to injury. Overall, the native of New Orleans, Louisiana registered 64 total tackles, 20 passes defended, three interceptions and one fumble recovery with his hometown team.

Breaux was also the Saints’ 2015 recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award presented to select players in the NFL who are voted by their teammates as role models of inspiration, sportsmanship and courage. While with the Saints, Breaux earned nearly $2 million in NFL salary.

Whether Breaux will make his Lions’ debut in front of an unusually large crowd at BC Place remains to be seen, but the Lions have ruled out seven other players due to injury. That list includes American defensive tackles Steven Richardson and Woody Baron, Canadian defensive end Josh Archibald, Canadian offensive linemen David Knevel and Noah Zerr, American linebacker Josh Woods, and American quarterback Kevin Thomson.