B.C. Lions set roster for season-opener against Calgary Stampeders

Photo courtesy: Jeff Vinnick/BC Lions

The B.C. Lions will open the 2023 CFL regular season with a visit to McMahon Stadium on Thursday to take on the Calgary Stampeders. The clubs met three times during the regular season in 2022 with B.C. winning two of the three meetings.

Tempers boiled over during the their matchup on Sept. 17 when there was a postgame altercation in the parking lot at McMahon Stadium. The incident was tied to an on-field altercation during which Stampeders’ linebacker Cameron Judge punched Lions’ receiver Lucky Whitehead in the face, for which he was suspended one game.

The Lions hosted Calgary in the West Semi-Final on Nov. 6 and won the game by a score of 30-16, eliminating the Stampeders from postseason contention. This marked B.C.’s first playoff win since 2016.

Four members of the Lions appeared on TSN’s top 50 CFL players list with receiver Dominique Rhymes being the highest-ranked player at No. 11. Four 3DownNation contributors completed ballots, including Vancouver-based JC Abbott.

Thursday’s game will mark the fourteenth time in franchise history that the Lions have played the Stampeders in their season-opener. B.C. has a 5-7-1 record in the previous 13 meetings. Kickoff is slated for 9:00 p.m. EDT at McMahon Stadium.

As expected, veteran quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. will start for the Lions under centre. The roster has experienced relatively little turnover since last season, though receiver Keon Hatcher will open the year on the six-game injured list.

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Dominique Rhymes is listed as a backup but don’t expect the star receiver to spend any time on the bench. As a nationalized American — a new designation for this season — he can substitute for any designated national player, which includes fellow receivers Justin McInnis and Jevon Cottoy.

Photo: B.C. Lions