Ottawa Reblacks missing top OL Drew Desjarlais for clash with Argos

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

The Ottawa Redblacks will be without the highest-paid offensive lineman in the CFL when they face the Toronto Argonauts on Sunday.

Left guard Drew Desjarlais has been placed on the one-game injured list with an ankle injury. The 26-year-old former West Division all-star was a prized offseason addition for the Redblacks after returning from NFL stints with the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints and has started all eight games this season.

Ottawa will get some reinforcements back up front, as right tackle Zack Pelehos returns after having been a late scratch due to illness last week. Jacob Ruby will slide back to his normal right guard spot, while Hunter Steward takes over for Desjarlais at left guard. Rookie Dontae Bull, the first overall pick in the 2023 CFL Draft, is slated to make his CFL debut as the team’s sixth offensive lineman as Eric Starczala moves back to the practice roster.

Defensively, Damon Webb returns from a shoulder injury and will start at boundary halfback. That allows former all-star Cariel Brooks to take over the corner spot, with Josh Valentine-Turner returning to the practice squad. Rookie Canadian linebacker Lucas Cormier will also be sent down, as Chizi Umunakwe returns from a knee injury to backup in the middle. Depth defensive end Deshawn Stevens (head) has been placed on the one-game injured list and will be replaced with rookie Aidan John.

The lone question mark for the team is strong-side linebacker Douglas Coleman, who has been listed as a game-time decision after missing practice on Friday for non-football-related reasons. In eight games this season, the 25-year-old has collected 27 defensive tackles, three sacks, and two interceptions.

The Redblacks (3-5) are scheduled to visit the Toronto Argonauts (6-1) on Sunday, August 13 at 7:00 p.m. EDT. They are currently point underdogs.

Photo courtesy: Ottawa Redblacks