Former Riders linebackers DeMarquis Gates, TeGray Scales make Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals practice squads

Courtesy: AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski

Former Saskatchewan Roughriders linebackers Demarquis Gates and TeGray Scales have made NFL practice rosters.

Gates earn a spot with the Chicago Bears and Scales the Cincinnati Bengals.

The six-foot-two, 226-pound Gates signed with the Riders in December 2020 after time in the NFL, XFL and Alliance of American Football. He played in five games during the CFL’s shortened 2021 regular season, recording five tackles and three special teams stops for the green and white. 

Gates played in five games for the Houston Roughnecks where he collected 32 tackles, including three for a loss, the fifth most in the league, while also notching three quarterback hurries, three pass deflections, three fumble recoveries, two sacks, one interception and one forced fumble.

While with the Memphis Express, the 26-year-old led the AAF with 52 tackles and five forced fumbles through eight games. The undrafted Gates also had NFL stops with the Cleveland Browns (2018) and the Washington Football Team (2019).

In the NCAA, Gates was a defensive star at the University of Mississippi where he led the team in tackles for three straight seasons (2015-2017). As a senior, he started all 12 games at middle linebacker, making 114 tackles, 9.5 per game, third in the Southeastern Conference. His 70 solo tackles led the SEC and saw him ranked 13th nationally. Gates also collected two sacks, five quarterback hurries and one fumble recovery.

Over four SEC seasons, Gates amassed 282 total tackles, 163 solo, six sacks, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 49 games played.

The six-foot, 227-pound Scales signed with the Los Angeles Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2018 and over the next four seasons spent time with the Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, playing in four games for the Steelers in 2020. The 26-year-old also played for the Dallas Renegades.

A highly regarded prospect out of high school, Scales received offers from Minnesota, Boston College, Illinois, Louisville, Marshall, Ohio, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Western Michigan before committing to Indiana University.

Scales played four NCAA seasons with the Hoosiers and collected many awards and accolades along the way. The Ohio native was the first Indiana linebacker to earn All-America honours since 1987 and the first to collect first-team All-Big Ten recognition since 1988. He finished third on IU’s all-time list with 46 career tackles for loss, sixth with 18 career sacks and 10th with 325 tackles.

Over 48 games played, Scales made 218 solo tackles, 325 total, grabbed eight interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown, 16 pass deflections, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and nine quarterback hurries. As a senior, he was named first-team All-Big Ten and for the second straight year was named Indiana’s Anthony Thompson Most Valuable Player and a team captain.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.