QB Dru Brown to lead inexperienced roster in preseason debut for Redblacks

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Fans of the Ottawa Redblacks will get the first look at their new franchise quarterback on Saturday, as Dru Brown is expected to receive plenty of reps leading an inexperienced roster in the preseason opener against Hamilton.

Brown was acquired by the team this offseason from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, where he completed 102-of-153 passes for 1,484 yards, 14 touchdowns, and two interceptions in three seasons backing up Zach Collaros. The 27-year-old will make his Redblacks debut ahead of second-year man Dustin Crum, who started 14 games as a rookie in 2023, and Jake Dunniway.

Beyond the quarterback position, just three proven starters are expected to make the trip to Tim Hortons Field: centre Cyrille Hogan-Saindon, right guard Dariusz Bladek, and safety Alonzo Addae.

Among the biggest position battles on display, former Jacksonville Jaguars running back Ryquell Armstead will get the first run in place of the injured DeVonte Williams, with Kylin Hill, Canadian Amlicar Polk, and Ronnie Brown also expected to get touches. Third-year man Keaton Bruggeling will start over second-overall draft pick Nick Mardner in the contest for the Canadian receiver slot, while veteran American Phil Norman and former first-overall pick Dontae Bull will see time at right tackle.

Defensively, Dishon McNary Jr. and Alijah McGhee will get the starts at cornerback, with one spot open with Brandin Dandridge on the injured list.

The Redblacks will kick off against the Ticats at 2:00 p.m. ET on June 25. The game is available to view for free online on CFL+.

Graphic courtesy: Ottawa Redblacks