Around the CFL NewsWire: Tuesday, July 7th

* Ti-Cat coach M. Bellefeuille took a page out of Wally Buono's playbook last week, refusing to name his starting QB until gametime, even to the players. But today he named Q. Porter his starter "He's done enough to earn the opportunity this week."

Which was news to Porter: "I didn't even know about it. Nobody says anything to me about these things."

"To be honest with you, I didn't know I was going to be the starter of the last game. I just continued to take the first reps in practice and went there the day of the game and nobody told me I wasn't starting so I decided, 'OK, I'll start,' " Porter said.

  • The Riders have signed highly-regarded QB Cole Bergquist, but he struggled in his second day with the team. He was intercepted three times but he’s getting more reps, which must be a sign of something. The Riders now have 4 QB's in their system.

Riders starting QB Darian Durant left practice about 50 minutes early today. Riders head coach Ken Miller said Durant hit his throwing hand on a helmet and that there might be some bruising.

  • The Lions are trying to trade receiver Cory Rodgers and he was told to vacate the club's practice facility Tuesday and by the time the team has to declare its 46-man roster for the home opener Friday, he'll likely be gone. With the injury to RB/returner Ian Smart, newly acquired RB Tyler Ebell has been named to the active roster and will primarily return kicks this week, but might share some RB duty with rookie M. Mallet.

  • The Bombers have made one addition to compensate for the imminent departure of receiver D. Armstrong, who refused to play in the Bombers season opener, by signing former Hamilton Tiger-Cat wideout Scott Mitchell. The 6-foot-3, 222-pound product of Kentucky showed some flashes for the Ticats last season, pulling in 38 passes for 697 yards and two TDs.

  • In Calgary, Mike Labinjo is moving to defensive tackle for Friday’s game, a move confirmed on Tuesday by coach and GM John Hufnagel, and that means that Odell Willis is about to get his first start as a pro, at Labinjo’s old defensive end spot.

A healthy Jeff Pilon on the Calgary Stampeders roster means one less import salary to pay as the Stamps announced on Monday that offensive lineman Antonio Hall had been released.

  • The Eskimos, who rushed for only 33 yds last week (and only managed 4 yds rushing in their playoff game last season) hope to get their ground game going, despite losing J. Lumsden for up to 10 weeks. Starting will be import RB Arkee Whitlock, which is fine with QB Ricky Ray: "I hope it's going to be different. When you don't have a running game, it's hard to move the ball around the field. As a running back, Jesse is pretty special. But you can't give up and lose hope. Whitlock was pretty impressive in the pre-season. You don't have to block perfect for a back like that. He makes guys miss.

"I'm still optimistic we're going to get a running game going and be able to throw the ball down the field," said Ray. :thup:

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Whitlock is starting ahead of McCarty? Can an Eskimos fan with more knowledge shed a little light on that? That makes no sense to me. How does one go from being the third string RB to the starter?

And if they're replacing Lumsden with Whitlock, they'll have to juggle their lineup to accommodate another non-import in another position. With McCarty, they didn't have to do that.

The Eskimos started an extra non-import last week, so starting Whitlock will not effect the import ratio for other positions. McCarty will certainly see plenty of action, perhaps even start, but I feel the Esks will want to see what Whitlock can do and give him plenty of opportunity to succeed. Here is a snippet from Ian Busby's story in Sunmedia today:

But the person affected most by Lumsden going out for at least 10 weeks with a dislocated shoulder is fellow Canuck Calvin McCarty.

The pair was supposed to offer a great one-two punch, and no other running back was dressed against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Now that Lumsden is out, import runner Arkee Whitlock will make his debut Thursday against the Montreal Alouettes and likely be the starter.

McCarty will probably take a reduced role in the offence, even though it would appear Lumsden's injury would open a door for him.

The Riders have two options at replacing Belton Johnson. They picked up NI Matt O'Meara, originally drafted by the Riders, but traded to Winnipeg and cut out of training camp this year. O'Meara worked with OL coach Bob Wylie in Winnipeg and was also in Sask in 2007. 6'8 tall Import Joel Bell was practicing Tues and may be another option if he can learn the system in time.

The Alouettes are going to be without Jamel Richardson and Eric Deslauriers, who are both expected to miss about 3 weeks. S.J. Green, recently offered a job by Toronto ( while on Montreal's practice roster ) will be activated. Randee Drew has been moved to the practice roster after post-injury evaluation. Their backup MLB Guzman is nursing a leg injury and Mohring may play back up to Emry.

Calgary's O-Line continues to have issues, as Rob Lazeo left practice to attend to a personal matter. Tim O'Neill was taking all of the first-team reps in practice.

Hamilton has placed Zac Carlson on the 9-game injured list.

Darian Durant has posted video on his website stating that his thumb is okay, but he missed practices for the past few days after hitting it on a helmut earlier this week.

Arland Bruce should stop putting his bum on the field. His status is questionable after recieving treatment for hemorrhoids.

Elliot Richardson is getting the start at Safety in Edmonton, replacing the injured Scott Gordon.