Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell will have to make his return to the field on Saturday without the services of the team’s offensive coordinator, Scott Milanovich.
According to a report from TSN’s Dave Naylor, Milanovich will not be in attendance for the team’s Week 18 game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders due to a family matter. The coach wasn’t present this week and has handed over playcalling duties to offensive line coach Mike Gibson in his absence.
Milanovich, the former Grey Cup-winning head coach of the Toronto Argonauts, was hired this offseason by the Ticats as a senior assistant after five seasons in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts. He took over playcalling duties for the team in Week 10 following the firing of long-time OC Tommy Condell and has helped spark an offensive turnaround that has caused Hamilton to go 4-3 down the stretch and clinch a playoff spot.
That turnaround came with rookie third-string quarterback Taylor Powell under centre, but that was set to change this week with the return of Bo Levi Mitchell from a fractured leg. The two-time Most Outstanding Player has had a disappointing start to his tenure in Hamilton, completing 57.7 percent of his passes for 714 yards, three touchdowns, and nine interceptions in three starts this season. However, he had yet to operate in a Milanovich offence.
Gibson, a 40-year coaching veteran at both the pro and collegiate level, is no stranger to calling plays in the CFL. He served as the Ticats’ offensive coordinator from 2009 to 2010 and held the same position with the Ottawa Redblacks in 2014.
The Ticats (7-8) are scheduled to kickoff against the Riders (6-9) at 7:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, October 7.