The B.C. Lions will have a new starting quarterback when they take on the Calgary Stampeders on Saturday with Vernon Adams Jr. getting the nod under centre.
B.C. acquired the veteran passer from the Montreal Alouettes late last month in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2023 CFL Draft. He dressed for this past week’s 31-10 loss to Montreal in a depth role behind Antonio Pipkin and played two series in the game, completing one-of-three pass attempts for 17 yards.
“He’s a proven guy and we just want to get him a full week of full reps, get ready to go so we can get looking for some continuity at the quarterback position,” head coach Campbell told the media on Monday.
Adams Jr. started the first two games of the season for Montreal and completed 21-of-39 pass attempts for 294 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. He did not dress for the club’s Week 3 game against Saskatchewan after testing positive for COVID-19 and was moved to the six-game injured list with a shoulder injury in Week 8.
The Lions recently placed second-year quarterback Nathan Rourke on the six-game injured list after he underwent Lisfranc surgery. Though the team remains hopeful that the Victoria, B.C. native will be able to return before the season is over, it is likely that he will be out for the year.
Pipkin has completed 22-of-41 pass attempts for 286 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in limited action this year. He has also rushed 17 times for 71 yards and three touchdowns.
Adams Jr. was originally on B.C.’s negotiation list coming out of college but his CFL rights were traded to Montreal in May 2016 in exchange for a first-round pick. He was traded to Saskatchewan in August 2017 and subsequently dealt to Hamilton in February 2018, though he rejoined the Alouettes four months later as a free agent.
The 29-year-old then dressed for 34 games with Montreal, completing 62.3 percent of his passes for 6,405 yards, 39 touchdowns, and 25 interceptions. He started 15 games for the team in 2019 as well as the first eight games of the 2021 season before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury.
Saturday’s game between B.C. (8-3) and Calgary (8-4) will have huge implications in the West Division standings as the teams look to stay close to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (12-1). The Lions won the first meeting between the two teams in Week 10 by a score of 41-40.