Nick Arbuckle to dress as Redblacks’ backup quarterback against Montreal

Photo: Larry MacDougal/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

Nick Arbuckle is going to make his much-anticipated debut with the Ottawa Redblacks on Thursday night, albeit in a backup role behind Caleb Evans.

The Redblacks acquired Arbuckle via trade from the Edmonton Elks on July 11 in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2023 CFL Draft. He did not dress for last week’s loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and was placed on the one-game injured list.

Arbuckle dressed for five games with Edmonton this season, completing 64.3 percent of his passes for 892 yards, two touchdowns, and eight interceptions. He won the starting job out of training camp but was demoted to a backup role in Week 4 following the promotion of Canadian quarterback Tre Ford.

The six-foot-one, 213-pound passer played seven games as a member of the Toronto Argonauts in 2021 before being traded to Edmonton. He completed 62.7 percent of his passes with the Argos for 1,158 yards, five touchdowns, and six interceptions.

Arbuckle was traded to Ottawa in January 2020 but never dressed for the team due to the cancellation of the CFL season. He was released by the team in February 2021 when the two sides were unable to restructure his contract.

The Redblacks have lost franchise quarterback Jeremiah Masoli for the next two to three months following an illegal hit by Saskatchewan Roughriders’ defensive lineman Garrett Marino. He was replaced last week by Caleb Evans, who completed 18-of-30 pass attempts for 203 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions along with eight carries for 62 yards and two touchdowns.

The Georgia State product signed his first CFL contract with the Calgary Stampeders in March 2017, though he played sparingly until 2019 when he threw for 2,103 yards, 11 touchdowns, and five interceptions while Bo Levi Mitchell missed time due to injury.