Montreal Alouettes’ QB Cody Fajardo a game-time decision for grudge match vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders

Photo courtesy: Montreal Alouettes

Montreal Alouettes’ quarterback Cody Fajardo will be a game-time decision ahead of his first meeting with his former team, the Saskatchewan Roughriders, on Friday.

The 31-year-old did not participate in practice on Tuesday due to a left shoulder injury suffered during Montreal’s Week 9 victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He returned to the field on Wednesday but was a limited participant.

The six-foot-two, 233-pound pivot has completed 67.0 percent of his passes for 1,877 yards, six touchdowns, and five interceptions so far this season, helping lead the Alouettes to a 4-3 start. He has also carried the ball 31 times for 174 yards and three touchdowns.

Fajardo spent the past three seasons in Saskatchewan, coming out of nowhere to become the team’s face of the franchise after an opening-week injury to Zach Collaros in 2019. He threw for 10,632 yards with 48 touchdowns and 32 interceptions with the club while also rushing 266 times for 1,436 yards and 22 scores, but fell out of favour during a disappointing 2022 season and was benched for the final two games.

If Fajardo cannot play, he is backed up by experienced dual-threat pivot Caleb Evans and promising third-stringer Davis Alexander.

Regardless of the status of their quarterback, the Alouettes will endure one major change in the backfield as star running back William Stanback (hip) has been placed on the one-game injured list.

The 29-year-old has carried 85 times for 415 yards in seven games this year while adding 17 receptions for 165 yards and appeared to be gaining steam after recording his first 100-yard rushing game of the season last week. He’ll be replaced by Walter Fletcher, who ran 85 times for 485 yards and a touchdown while catching 29 passes for 353 yards and another score during Stanback’s extended absence last year.

The blow to the running game could be balanced out by the return of right tackle Landon Rice, who missed just two games after initially being placed on the six-game injured list. Jamar McGloster has been returned to the practice squad.

Defensively, the Alouettes will be without veteran defensive tackle Almondo Sewell (hip). The 36-year-old future Hall of Famer has recorded five tackles and a sack in seven games this season, and will be replaced by rookie Israel Antwine and new signee Marcus Valdez from Boston College.

Also out this week is backup Canadian defensive back and core special team Zach Lindley (head). American defensive back Raheem Wilson will draw into the lineup in a backup capacity, while backup receiver Cole Spieker has been returned to the practice roster.

The Alouettes (4-3) will host the Riders (4-4) on Friday, August 11 at 7:30 p.m. EDT. They are currently listed as point favourites.

Photo courtesy: Montreal Alouettes