The Hamilton Tiger-Cats will be rolling with a two-quarterback system for the Eastern Semi-Final on Saturday, but it won’t be Bo Levi Mitchell as the leading man in the tandem.
Matthew Shiltz has been named the team’s starter against the Montreal Alouettes, leapfrogging the team’s prized offseason acquisition. The 30-year-old started three games this season and recorded wins over the Ottawa Redblacks and Edmonton Elks, before suffering an injury.
Following his return, he saw significant playing time in three late-season games, once in relief of Taylor Powell and twice in place of Mitchell. He completed 67.1 percent of his pass attempts for 1,556 yards, seven touchdowns, and five interceptions and carried the ball 23 times for 160 yards and one touchdown.
Mitchell started only six games this season due to injury, posting a 2-4 record along with a 59.1 completion percentage, 1,031 passing yards, six touchdowns, and ten interceptions. His performance has improved since returning from a fractured leg but he struggled in limited action during the regular season finale.
The 33-year-old was not listed on the Ticats injury report this week but was reportedly a limited participant, with Shiltz taking all first-team reps. Rookie Taylor Powell, who started eight games for the team this year, will be a healthy scratch as Kai Locksley handles short-yardage duties.
Returning to the lineup refreshed after sitting out last week are defensive end Malik Carney, running back James Butler, receiver Tim White, cornerback Richard Leonard, and defensive tackle Casey Sayles. Defensive back David Vereen has been returned to the practice roster.
Canadian defensive end Jonathan Kongbo (head) will sit out this week after being placed on the one-game injured list, with linebacker Enoch Penney-Laryea drawing into the lineup. Linebacker Chris Kolaveric, defensive tackle Jarrod Hewitt and receiver Derel Walker will all be healthy scratches.
The Ticats (8-10) will visit the Alouettes (11-7) on Saturday, November 4 at 3:00 p.m. EDT. Montreal swept the three-game series between the two clubs in the regular season.