3DownNation CFL power rankings: Blue Bombers reclaim top spot following injury to Nathan Rourke

Photo courtesy: Jimmy Jeong/CFL

It’s unfortunate when an injury changes the landscape of an entire league but that’s exactly what happened this past week when B.C. Lions’ phenom quarterback Nathan Rourke suffered a foot injury that will likely end his season.

3DownNation’s power rankings are created by having eleven of our contributors rank each team from No. 1 to No. 9 independently, then averaging out the scores. The previous week’s rankings are in brackets.

Enjoy the rankings and feel free to roast us on Twitter for anything you think we got wrong.

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

1. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2)

Winnipeg got not only some much-needed rest during its bye week but also saw their biggest threat in the West Division suffer a massive blow with the loss of Nathan Rourke. The club still has work to do if they hope to wrap up the top spot in the standings, but the path to doing so is suddenly much easier.

Photo courtesy: Paul Yates/B.C. Lions

2. B.C. Lions (1)

Nathan Rourke is undergoing foot surgery and will likely be out for the season because apparently, CFL fans can’t have nice things. The Lions have been dominant almost all season but will have to find a way to continue that success under third-year Canadian quarterback Michael O’Connor. B.C. has a strong supporting cast but there’s no replacing Rourke who was on a record-breaking pace this year.

Courtesy: AP Photo/Larry MacDougal

3. Calgary Stampeders (3)

Bo Levi Mitchell was benched this past week following a poor first half and Jake Maier was noticeably better in relief, though he didn’t exactly set the world on fire. Calgary only won in Toronto because of its defence, which allowed a measly 337 yards and an average of only 4.1 yards on second down. The team won’t have a lot of time to figure out who their starter is this week as they play in Winnipeg on a short week.

Photo courtesy: CFL

4. Montreal Alouettes (6)

Penalties remain a concern for the Alouettes — they took 13 for 176 yards this past week — but a win over Hamilton gave them sole possession of second in the East Division. Trevor Harris is suddenly playing his best football since 2019 at a time when quarterbacking across the league is regressing, while David Côté made the biggest kick of his career with a 48-yard game-winner.

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

5. Saskatchewan Roughriders (4)

The Riders looked outgunned, outmanned, outnumbered, and outplanned this past week in an embarrassing home loss to the B.C. Lions. Cody Fajardo was benched after throwing for 41 yards and two interceptions in the first half and Mason Fine played pretty well in relief, throwing for 210 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Is it possible that there’s a quarterback controversy in Riderville?

Photo: Bob Butrym/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

6. Toronto Argonauts (7)

The Boatmen picked off Bo Levi Mitchell and Jake Maier three times but were still unable to beat Calgary in the comfort of BMO Field. A.J. Ouellette was stifled along the ground in place of an injured Andrew Harris but ended up as Toronto’s leading receiver, making seven grabs for 92 yards. Two silver linings for the Argos: the defence did a good job of corraling Dedrick Mills and Chad Kelly’s bleached hair looks cool.

Photo: Bob Butrym/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

7. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (5)

Hamilton came extremely close to knocking off Montreal on the road but fell just shy after allowing a last-second field goal. The team’s struggle to defend the pass is a concern, as is its inability to run the ball. The good news for fans in Steeltown is that Matthew Shiltz seems to be settling nicely into the starting role, completing 69.2 percent of his passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns against the Als.

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

8. Edmonton Elks (8)

Edmonton finally came to life on offence in their come-from-behind victory over Ottawa, bringing them within four points of Saskatchewan for fourth in the West Division. It wasn’t a pretty win but the club capitalized against a lousy opponent that they’ll play again this week. Maybe the team will even get its first home win in over 1,000 days.

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

9. Ottawa Redblacks (9)

The Redblacks hit rock bottom this past week, squandering a chance to get back in the East Division playoff race by getting dominated in the second half by Edmonton. The players don’t look particularly interested in playing for head coach Paul LaPolice and a postseason berth seems next to impossible at this point. The only good news for R-Nation? DeVonte Dedmon is back following a stint in the NFL.