The Calgary Stampeders will be rolling out the majority of their first-team offence and defence for Monday’s preseason opener against the Edmonton Elks, including starting quarterback Jake Maier.
The 26-year-old is entering his first season as the unquestioned face of the franchise and will get the first opportunity to see the field in exhibition action. He took over the top job from veteran Bo Levi Mitchell in Week 11 of the 2022 season, throwing for 2,389 yards, 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions and receiving a lucrative two-year contract extension.
However, the third-year signal-caller’s last outing was a poor one, as he struggled in the West Semi-Final against the B.C. Lions. Maier went 12-of-22 for just 138 yards before being pulled in the fourth quarter of the playoff loss.
The Stampeders have four quarterbacks in training camp and all are expected to see action against Edmonton as they battle for the backup job. Maier will be followed by incumbent Tommy Stevens, followed by newcomers Chris Reynolds and Logan Bonner.
The majority of the team’s projected starters are expected to see early reps, with a few notable exceptions. Cornerback Tre Roberson, strongside linebacker Titus Wall, middle linebacker Silas Stewart, and left guard Zack Williams will all be inactive, while second-year Canadian receiver Jalen Philpot will begin the year on the six-game injured list.
Veteran left tackle Derek Dennis is expected to dress but will back up newcomer D’Antne Demery while he continues to recover from a broken ankle suffered last season.
31-year-old former NFLer Hugh Thornton, now in his second season with Calgary, will get the first start at the contested right tackle position. South Dakota State defensive back Michael Griffin is the only first-year player listed in a starting role, getting the nod at strongside linebacker.
Monday’s preseason game between the Stampeders and Elks is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. EDT at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.