The Hamilton Tiger-Cats saw enough of Bo Levi Mitchell in his preseason debut last week and will be travelling with a pared-down roster to their exhibition finale in Montreal, led by backup quarterback Matthew Shiltz.
The 30-year-old dressed in 17 games for the Ticats in 2022, making three starts while often being featured as part of a two-quarterback system. He completed 85-of-119 pass attempts (71.4 percent) for 935 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions while rushing 28 times for 152 yards and a score.
Prior to joining Hamilton last offseason, Shiltz spent four years with the Montreal Alouettes. He played in 50 games, completing 62 percent of his pass attempts for 1,866 yards with eight touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also rushed 50 times for 313 yards and two touchdowns.
The only other quarterback on the roster for Friday’s game is Taylor Powell, a product of Eastern Michigan University. The rookie also took the majority of reps last week against Toronto, completing 20-of-26 passes for 298 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.
In addition to Mitchell, the Ticats will be leaving as many as 28 established veterans at home. Projected starters not participating include running back James Butler; receivers Duke Williams, Papi White, Tim White, and Tyler Ternowski; offensive linemen David Beard, Chris Van Zeyl, and Joel Figueroa; defensive linemen Casey Sayles, Ja’Gared Davis, Mason Bennett, Kwaku Boateng, Ted Laurent, and Dylan Wynn; and linebackers Jameer Thurman and Simoni Lawrence.
Despite the inexperienced lineup, the Ticats will be fielding their projected Week 1 secondary. Kenneth George Jr. and Lawrence Woods III will play corner, veteran Richard Leonard and free agent signee Javien Elliott are pencilled in at halfback, while Canadian Tunde Adeleke retains his usual spot at safety.
The Ticats are scheduled to kick off against the Montreal Alouettes at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Friday, June 2 at Percival Molson Stadium.