Stampeders’ QB Bo Levi Mitchell wearing a walking boot following injury, status for Week 2 uncertain

Photo courtesy: Dave Chidley/CFL.ca

Calgary Stampeders’ quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell addressed local media in a walking boot Friday afternoon following an ankle injury suffered in the CFL season opener but says his status for the team’s Week 2 matchup with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats remains up in the air.

According to Postmedia’s Danny Austin, Mitchell told reporters that a bone injury has been ruled out but he is awaiting an MRI to receive an official diagnosis. While head coach Dave Dickenson said he believes Mitchell suffered a rolled ankle and will be good to go next week, the quarterback himself would not commit to being able to play.

Mitchell left Calgary’s home-opener against the Montreal Alouettes with just over three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter after a blow to his ankle. Backup quarterback Jake Maier entered the contest and helped set up a game-winning field goal from kicker Rene Paredes, completing 4-of-5 passes for 57 yards.

After the game, Dickenson referred to his starting quarterback’s injury as a “charley horse” but said he would not put an immobile quarterback on the field in Week 1. Mitchell was 21-of-34 for 199 yards, one touchdown and one interception in roughly 57 minutes of action.

It proved to be a disappointing finish for Mitchell, who has battled injuries for much of the last two seasons. He entered training camp the healthiest he had been since the team’s Grey Cup-winning 2018 season, determined to stave off the conversation around a quarterback controversy sparked by Maier’s strong performance as a rookie.

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.

The future Hall of Famer now faces a difficult situation, as he cannot afford to play at less than full strength again but any time lost will be an opportunity for Maier to state his case for the starting job. Either way, the upcoming MRI results and ensuing treatment could have significant ramifications for the future of the Stampeders franchise.