Veteran backup Nick Arbuckle will draw the start at quarterback for the Ottawa Redblacks in their preseason opener against the Montreal Alouettes on Friday.
The 29-year-old pivot was acquired by the Redblacks via trade from the Edmonton Elks mid-way through the 2022 season, dressing for 12 games with the organization. He completed 217-of-308 passes for 2,400 yards, four touchdowns, and six interceptions while rushing for two more scores.
In 60 career CFL games with the Calgary Stampeders, Toronto Argonauts, Elks, and Reblacks, Arbuckle has thrown for 6,697 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 25 interceptions.
Starting quarterback Jeremiah Masoli returned to practice this week but is not expected to play in either preseason game as he continues to recover from a broken leg suffered in Week 5 last year. Second-year man Tyrie Adams is expected to see reps behind Arbuckle, as are newcomers Dustin Crum and Jake Dunniway.
Other projected starters joining Masoli on the inactive list for the first exhibition contest include defensive back Money Hunter, linebacker Jovan Santos-Knox, and receiver Siaosi Mariner. Offensive lineman Dontae Bull, the team’s first overall pick in the 2023 CFL Draft, will also not take part, while newly acquired receiver Bralon Addison is expected to begin the year on the six-game injured list.
Notable names receiving opportunities with the starting group include 2022 second-overall pick Zack Pelehos auditioning at right tackle and rookie Savon Scarver at receiver. Third-year Global player Tyron Vrede will get the nod at middle linebacker, while Canadian running back Jackson Bennett is listed above second-year American Devonte Williams on the depth chart.
Friday’s preseason game between the Redblacks and Alouettes is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EDT at TD Place in Ottawa.