Saskatchewan Roughriders tap Jake Dolegala as starting QB for preseason matchup vs. Lions

Photo courtesy: CFL

The Saskatchewan Roughriders will begin the 2023 preseason with Jake Dolegala under centre, after naming the second-year player their starting quarterback for Saturday’s matchup with the B.C. Lions.

Franchise pivot Trevor Harris will not be in uniform for the team after attending the birth of his third child in Ohio on Thursday. All three of the Riders’ backups are expected to see action, with Dolegala getting the nod first after a strong training camp showing.

The 26-year-old saw action in two games over the course of the 2022 season, his first in the CFL. He completed 16-of-35 pass attempts for 154 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions, starting a Week 7 loss to the Toronto Argonauts after a number of players had tested positive for COVID-19.

Dolegala was suspended one game by the Riders in September as a result of violating the team’s code of conduct after being arrested for impaired driving. He missed one day of training camp practice while standing trial in Regina but was found not guilty on May 23.

The six-foot-seven, 242-pound passer was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals after going unselected in the 2019 NFL Draft and spent the entire season on their active roster. He played two preseason games that year and completed 37-of-54 pass attempts for 347 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He went on to spend time with the New England Patriots (2020-2021), Green Bay Packers (2021), and Miami Dolphins (2021) before signing in the CFL.

Dolegala attended Central Connecticut State University where he played in 44 games over four seasons (2015-2018). He completed 654 passes for 8,129 yards, 48 touchdowns, and 24 interceptions with the Blue Devils and added an additional 452 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.

Newcomer Shea Patterson is listed behind Dolegala on the depth chart while 2022 backup quarterback Mason Fine has been dropped to the number three position. CFL QB Internship participant Noah Pelletier of the University of Regina will also dress for the game, though it is unclear if he will see any action.

The Riders will not dress the majority of their starters for the contest. In addition to Harris, players not expected to participate include running backs Jamal Morrow and Frankie Hickson; receivers Jake Wieneke, Derel Walker and Tevin Jones; offensive linemen Peter Godber and Jerald Hawkins; defensive linemen Micah Johnson and Anthony Lanier; linebackers Larry Dean and Derrick Moncrief; defensive back Rolan Milligan, fullback Bruno Labelle, and returner Mario Alford.

Americans Eric Lofton and Tre’Mond Shorts will draw the start at the contested offensive tackle positions. Second-year Canadian defensive back Jayden Dalke will get the first look at the open safety spot.

The preseason matchup between the Riders and Lions will kick off on Saturday, May 27 at 7:00 p.m. EDT at Mosaic Stadium.

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders