Dyce: Masoli, Adams recovering well but Dru Bown has ‘leg up’ in Ottawa Redblacks’ QB race

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Head coach Bob Dyce had a positive update for fans of the Ottawa Redblacks regarding the health of Jeremiah Masoli and Tyrie Adams, both of whom are recovering from season-ending injuries they suffered relatively early last season.

“Jeremiah is, I believe, slightly ahead of progress with his Achilles and is really moving forward at a great rate. With Tyrie, when he left Ottawa, he was ahead of schedule and he’s been working hard,” Dyce said from the CFL Combine in Winnipeg, his hometown.

“The one challenge with these types of injuries, we won’t know 100 percent where they’re going to be at training camp or keep a tight progress on them. Ideally, they’re both ready for the beginning of training camp and go forward from there. If not, we’ll obviously handle that at that time, but they’re both well ahead of schedule and we’re really excited for seeing them when they get up here in May.”

Masoli has made only five starts since he joined the Redblacks two years ago, suffering a fractured leg in 2022 and a torn Achilles in 2023. His recovery from the leg fracture was slowed due to an infection he suffered while recovering from surgery, which caused him to miss the first three games of this past season.

The 35-year-old recently released a video on social media showing him throwing passes while moving around the pocket. He restructured his contract with Ottawa earlier this off-season and will make $133,800 in hard money with maximum potential earnings of $236,800, which is comparable to some veteran backups across the league.

Adams has made only one start over two seasons with the Redblacks, leading the team to a 26-7 win over the Edmonton Elks early this past season. The dual-threat quarterback has thrown for 412 yards, one touchdown, and one interception along with 11 carries for 81 yards over his relatively short CFL career.

Regardless of how Masoli and Adams perform in training camp, it appears that Dru Brown is currently penciled atop Ottawa’s depth chart after being acquired from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The three-year veteran was a pending free agent this off-season and signed a two-year extension with the Redblacks after being acquired via trade before free agency officially got underway.

“Obviously, we made a big commitment to Dru in identifying him as a key free agent that we wanted to have here and he’s gonna come out here and compete at a very high level. We expect him to really work and be in that number one spot but it’s gonna be a battle. Anytime you have training camp, it’s a competition and it makes your team that much better,” said Dyce.

“Dustin Crum did some fantastic things for us and I know he’s gonna come out and he’s gonna battle right from day one that he gets up there and push Dru right to the limit. Then, like I said, Jeremiah’s there as well and Tyrie, if they’re both healthy, it’s gonna be a real battle. One thing we’re really happy with is the competition that we’re going to have in that quarterback room and we’ll see where things play out, but I wouldn’t be saying the truth if I didn’t say Dru’s certainly got a leg up right now.”

Brown threw for 1,484 yards, 14 touchdowns, and two interceptions over three seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, going 2-1 as a starter behind Zach Collaros. Unless something changes drastically, it appears he’ll be under centre to take on his old team when Ottawa opens their regular season against Winnipeg on Thursday, June 13 at TD Place Stadium.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.