The B.C. Lions will be without breakout running back Taquan Mizzell when they take on the Montreal Alouettes on Sunday night.
The 29-year-old was unable to practice this week due to a nagging knee injury that force him to exit the team’s Week 4 loss to the Argonauts in the fourth quarter. He has been placed on the one-game injured list and will be replaced by newcomer Shaun Shivers.
Mizzell entered Week 5 ranked second in CFL rushing, carrying 46 times for 246 yards. He has also added 10 catches for 58 yards. This is his first season in the CFL after a five-year NFL career that included stops with the Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, and New York Giants.
Shivers was signed by the Lions on June 26 after finishing his collegiate career at the University of Indiana, collecting 143 carries for 592 yards and six touchdowns while hauling in 22 receptions for 128 yards and one major in 12 games as a senior. The five-foot-seven, 185-pound ball carrier transferred from Auburn University, where he ran for 1,020 yards and eight touchdowns in 43 games.
Absent from the defensive side of the ball will be starting strong-side linebacker Emmanuel Rugamba (rib), who has made 16 tackles in four games this season. The Miami (Ohio) product made 11 starts as a rookie in 2022, collecting 38 defensive tackles and an interception.
Quincy Mauger will roll down into the box to assume Rugamba’s position, while second-year Canadian Adrian Greene will make his first career start at safety. The fourth-round pick in the 2022 CFL Draft made three special teams tackles in nine games as a rookie and has added one more this season, but has yet to record a defensive tackle.
Offensively, speedy receiver Lucky Whitehead returns to the lineup after missing last week with a hamstring injury. It marks the first time in 2023 that the Lions will have all three of their thousand-yard receivers from a year ago — Whitehead, Dominique Rhymes, and Keon Hatcher — in the lineup at the same time. The 31-year-old has made eight receptions for 100 yards in two outings this year.
Canadian running back Kienan LaFrance and receiver Daniel Petermann will both be healthy scratches for this game, while American linebacker Brooks Parker draws back into the lineup. 2023 second-round draft pick Siriman Harrison Bagayogo will dress for the first time as a backup corner.
The Lions (3-1) will host the Alouettes (2-1) on Sunday, July 9 at 7:00 p.m. EDT. They are currently point favourites.