Montreal Alouettes sign former Riders LB Darnell Sankey after XFL stint

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

The Montreal Alouettes have signed former Saskatchewan Roughriders’ linebacker Darnell Sankey, per sources.

Sankey signed in the XFL after hitting CFL free agency last February but had been eyeing a return north of the border since he was granted his release on August 1. After waiting out  NFL training camps in the hopes of landing an opportunity in that league, he joins an Alouettes’ team that has lost starting middle linebacker Avery Williams and backup Tyrell Richards to the six-game injured list.

The 28-year-old played for the Arlington Renegades this past season, recording 47 total tackles and one sack. He helped the team finish second in the South Division before going on an undefeated postseason run that culminated in a 35-26 win over the DC Defenders in the XFL Championship Game.

Prior to leaving for the XFL, Sankey set a new franchise record with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2022 when he recorded 120 defensive tackles. He also made two special teams tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles, and one interception.

The six-foot-one, 245-pound defender played his first CFL season with the Calgary Stampeders in 2021 and made 98 total tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble. He was named a West Division all-star for his efforts.

The Sacramento State product went unselected in the 2016 NFL Draft, later spending time with the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints.

The Alouettes (6-6) return to action on Friday, September 15 against the Toronto Argonauts (10-1).

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.