B.C. Lions officially name Antonio Pipkin starting QB vs. Alouettes, Vernon Adams Jr. to back up

Photo courtesy: David Friedrich/B.C. Lions

Vernon Adams Jr. will have to wait a little longer to exact revenge on his former team, as the B.C. Lions named Antonio Pipkin as their starting quarterback for Friday’s game against the Montreal Alouettes.

Adams was acquired by the Lions from Montreal last week in a trade that sent the team’s first-round pick to La Belle Province. He had served as the Alouettes’ starting quarterback since the 2019 season but lost his job to veteran Trevor Harris just six quarters into the 2022 campaign.

The Lions made the move for Adams in order to help fill the void left by generational Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke under centre, who could potentially miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery for a Lisfranc sprain. The new signal-caller is listed as the backup for Friday’s game and is expected to see some action, but is not yet comfortable enough with the playbook to start.

Instead, the team will give former third-stringer Antonio Pipkin his first start of the season, attempting to build off his relief performance from two weeks ago. The 27-year-old completed 9-of-17 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 26 yards on six carries in the loss against Saskatchewan.

Pipkin has his own connection to the Alouettes, having spent his first CFL seasons with the team from 2017 to 2019. His most productive campaign was in 2018 where he threw for 1,120 yards and three touchdowns with eight interceptions and rushed for 252 yards and eight majors in 12 appearances, including four starts.

The Tiffin product spent the entirety of the 2021 season with the Toronto Argonauts but was released following training camp in 2022. He then signed with the Lions.

Canadian Michael O’Connor, who started the team’s Week 12 game before exiting due to injury, is listed as the team’s third-stringer. The UBC product was limited in practice this week due to an adductor issue.