Welcome to the latest edition of Three Downs, the Last Word on Sports roundup of what’s to come in CFL Week 2. This week, we’ll look at the Game of the Week, the Player to Watch, and as the Countdown to Kickoff topic: Henry Burris on the injured list.
Three Downs, CFL Week 2
The CFL Week 2 game to watch is an easy decision: the Toronto Argonauts vs the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Saskatchewan. It will be the last home opener at Mosiac Stadium in Regina as the Roughriders are set to play in a new stadium next season. So the Roughriders definitely want to make this one memorable.
Another reason is Chris Jones, who will be making his Roughrider coaching debut after winning the Grey Cup with the Edmonton Eskimos. Jones has won everywhere he has coached and he turned over the Roughrider roster by around 75% from last year’s awful team. It will be interesting to see what this Saskatchewan team looks like with Jones coaching and Darian Durant finally healthy.
– Cole Shelton
Player to Watch: Drew Willy
Drew Willy may already be in the hot seat as his Winnipeg Blue Bombers are set to take on the Calgary Stampeders. Against Montreal last week, the Bombers offence struggled to move the ball. They only put up 14 points in the process, the majority from kicker Justin Medlock.
Entering the 2016 season with new acquisitions like Andrew Harris, Weston Dressler, Ryan Smith and Keith Shologan, and most importantly with a healthy Drew Willy, there was reason for optimism in Winnipeg. But in week 1 the offence sputtered, with Willy throwing 25/34 for 303 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Those are decent numbers on paper, but Willy missed open receivers and a lot of yardage came in the fourth quarter when Winnipeg was playing catch up.
Willy is still learning a new Paul LaPolice offence, as well as seeing his first game action in 10 months. But he is certainly the player to watch this week to see if he has a bounce back performance against one of the league’s perennial powerhouses.
– Troy Durrell
Countdown to Kickoff: Henry Burris on the Injured List
He had a career year in 2015 and was the focus of every Ottawa fan’s hopes going into this season. Despite his age, Henry Burris was the league’s gold standard for quarterbacks going into this year. But a third-quarter handoff resulted in a finger injury, and Smilin’ Hank retreated to the sidelines to watch Trevor Harris put in a banner 17-of-19, 292-yard, overtime-winning performance. On Wednesday, the Redblacks put Burris on the 6-game injured list.
Unless Harris stumbles in his next starts, the job seems to be well and truly his. This year was a transition year for Ottawa quarterbacks, and whether Marcel Desjardins was spectacularly lucky or extremely smart in snapping up Harris in the off-season, the result is that the transition is suddenly complete.
– Matthew Bin