QB Evans is sort of back, but Hamilton Tiger-Cats scratch 3 injured defenders


Published August 19, 2022 at 11:37 am

The Canadian Press

Starting quarterback Dane Evans will dress Saturday, while the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will be without his namesake in the defensive secondary against the Montreal Alouettes on Saturday.

They have also headed down the St. Lawrence without linebacker Simoni Lawrence, who is on the six-game injured list for the second time this season.

Evans was out last week with a shoulder injury, and is listed as the third-string QB for Hamilton’s second game this season against Montréal (4 p.m. ET, TSN/RDS/Ticats Audio Network). Matthew Shiltz and Jamie Newman are the Nos. 1 and 2 quarterback again.

Shiltz and Newman did enough to complement the other components of Hamilton’s effort during a seven-point home win against the Toronto Argonauts on Aug. 12. Hamilton had only 21 pass attempts for 180 yards — 60 of that on fourth-quarter touchdown by wide receiver Tim White — and likely needs a more sustained passing threat.

Offensively, Evans has passed for 2,229 yards in eight games this season. But the Ticats’ collective issues are betrayed by Evans having as many interceptions as touchdown passes (10 apiece) and an average of 8.1 yards per pass, which is fifth among the six CFL QBs who have tried 200 or more passes. The Ticats are 2-0 when Evans ends up INT-free.

Alouettes QB Trevor Harrisis averaging 8.5 yards per pass, but also has a 1:1 TD-INT ratio with seven apiece.

The Tiger-Cats will be trying to contain the host Alouettes and Harris with a patched-up defence that will be missing Lawrence and both starting cornerbacks. Lawrence and cornerback Ciante Evans are both on the six-game list. Fellow corner Jumari Rolle is on the one-game list, which means he is eligible to return for the Aug. 26 game at Toronto.

Kyle Wilson, who has NFL playing experience with the Los Angeles Chargers, will draw in for Lawrence at the veteran’s will linebacker position. Wilson has yet to record a sack in the CFL, but had a season-high five tackles when he started during the Ticats’ 24-17 home win against Montréal on July 28.

Desmond Lawrence will replace Rolle. Veteran Alden Darby Jr. will replace Ciante Evans on the other side of the field.

Rush end Mason Bennett is back on the roster, but the Canadian pass rusher is listed as a backup behind Mitchell Carney. With Carney starting, the Tiger-Cats are using 11 Americans on defence, with safety Tunde Adeleke as the lone national.

The supporting cast around the Hamilton quarterbacks has been carried over from last week, with Don Jackson and Sean Thomas Erlington as a 1-2 combo at running back. Wide receiver Steven Dunbar Jr. has accounted for a team-most five receiving touchdowns.

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