CFL Quarterbacks: State of the Union - 2023

true, any other backup gets on the field for at least some reps other than the back QB.

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Dustin Crum has certainly demonstrated that this can be true with a small sample size. And as fans of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats we hope that Taylor Powell does the same.

But, with the recent injuries to the 4 veteran QB’s affecting 3 different teams, do the 3 teams that still have veteran QB’s at the QB1 position (Winnipeg, BC & Montreal) have a decided advantage over the others??
And will the Hamilton Tiger-Cats also have an advantage when BLM resumes his QB1 duties??

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Doubtful, if you take recent performance into consideration.


Maybe…if Condell lets BLM call his own plays.

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I don’t mean to be negative about Powell before he has a chance to start but realistically he wasn’t even signed to make the team. He was a training camp arm. He doesn’t have much of a pedigree.

BO, Shiltz and Newman were written in stone heading to camp.

Lets see what Powell can do given the break he probably didn’t see coming when he headed to Ticat camp.
This is why I wouldn’t be shocked if the new well travelled 3rd string see’s meaningful minutes before long.

Saturday July 22nd, 2023
Another “retread” QB1, Vernon Adams jr. of the BC Lions suffers an apparent knee injury. Fortunately for the Lions, much like the Tiger-Cats, they have 2 “retread” QB’s on their roster.
So for now, Dane Evans steps into the QB1 role in BC. He gets a second chance - a chance to demonstrate that last year, for whatever reason, was an aberration.

I wish Dane Evans the best of luck . . . except on August 26th when I hope that we will have a chance to see Bo Levi Mitchell lead the 'Cats O against the best D in the CFL. It will add a little extra intrigue to that game.

PS: at this point I have no idea what VAjr’s injury might be, but I wish him a speedy recovery. Just an absolutely bizarre # of injuries to QB’s in the CFL this year !!!


Unless someone in the reception area says that Dustin is ‘just in’.

Is there a qb in the CFL who calls his own plays?

Farhan says Adams may miss some time but early word it’s not considered serious

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And the negative trend continues with regard to serious injuries incurred by veteran QB’s.
With last weeks knee injury suffered by Vernon Adams jr & Bo Levi Mitchell’s return to the active roster in Hamilton, it meant that the # of “retread” starting QB’s in the CFL remained at 4.

Of course we all know that BLM was injured on the second to last play of Friday night’s game, when the Tiger-Cats were in victory formation on their own 2 yard line. We don’t have any information on the nature or severity of the injury he sustained to his right ankle. I wish him a speedy recovery . . .

So now the # of “retread” starting QB’s in the CFL drops back down to three (3):

  • Zach Collaros (Winnipeg)
  • Dane Evans (BC)
  • Cody Fajardo (Montreal).
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I’ve lost track of the argument.

Is it good that 6 teams are starting QBs they have brought into the league?

Is 3 QBs that have played for other teams in their careers too high?

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At the beginning (in another thread), I was pointing out that these QB’s don’t retire, they just keep circulating around the league. I was suggesting that these “retreads” will always find another opportunity to play in the CFL, as long as they are interested in continuing to play . . . this is probably a reflection of the difficulty to attract good young QB’s to the league.

But then I started this thread when so many teams were being impacted by serious injuries to their “retread” QB’s . . . now I am wondering if any of these guys will survive to the end of the season.

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@ExPat , this was my response to @Onknight on January 24th, shortly after Bo Levi Mitchell added his “John Hancock” to his latest CFL Contract . . .

I was going to respond with a Kenny Hobart or Todd Dillon reference, but I decided against it.

The reality is that all 9 teams have their Neg Lists stacked with QB’s that they hope are almost good enough to play in the NFL, but not quite. It is a very fine line.

What is it about the Mike Reilly’s, the Matt Dunigan’s, the Ricky Ray’s, Danny McManus’, & even Zach Collaros’, etc who are good CFL QB’s but reconcile themselves to the fact that they will not be given an opportunity in the NFL?? That is what CFL GM’s are looking for; this is what they have to find.

Height might be one of those secret ingredients. NFL QB’s have to be able to see over the taller lineman from both teams as the pocket is collapsing around them . . . but that is not the only factor. Ricky Ray was not able to win a NFL roster spot, while the much shorter Doug Flutie did (& even enjoyed some brief success as a starting QB in the NFL).

It is not easy to find those guys . . . it ends up being a very delicate balancing act. Let me use Jamie Newman as an example. Newman has the prototypical NFL QB measurables. At one point in his college career he was being mentioned as a possible 1st Round draft pick in the same Draft year as Trevor Lawrence. He ended up being undrafted, but with his size if he was able to catch “lightning in a bottle” in Canada, like Nathan Rourke did, he would be gone the next season just like Rourke. He would not remain in the CFL for 10+ seasons like the QB’s that I mentioned up above . . .

It is not easy to find those guys, which is why the CFL has so many QB’s like Damon Allen, Henry Burris, & even Trevor Harris & Kevin Glenn etc. who will bounce around the league as long as they want to keep playing . . . there will always be some team willing to offer those veteran QB’s a CFL contract, because they are unique athletes, and they are hard to find.

As Tiger-Cat fans we are now hoping that Bo Levi Mitchell can rediscover that magic with a new team. Seeing one of your young QB’s blossom is very nice, but not absolutely necessary in the CFL.

But one of these days, some CFL GM will strike it rich with the next Joe Paopao . . . !!!


Once again, I am going to restate your proposition in other terms.

100% of the veteran QBs (3-plus years experience) are playing for a different team than they started with in the CFL - and therefore labeled by you as “retreads”.

Most of the “retreads” have been hurt. Most of the young starters have not.

Conclusion: older QBs are more likely to be hurt than younger QBs.


Lots of mileage on those old qb’s so they will break down more often. There are “retreads” at every position. Not like the good old days when players like Henley spent their entire careers playing for the same team.


August 3rd, 2023:
Another one of the veteran “retread” QB’s gets injured; this time it is Dane Evans. They called it a “rib injury” last night, but I thought Dane was favouring an area closer to his non-throwing shoulder.

Dane was injured on a play where he rolled out of the pocket and Adam Bighill tackled him after he released the ball. I am not going to wade into a debate on whether or not that was a “dirty hit”, but it was certainly an aggressive hit. And according to the rules that have been implemented in both the CFL & the NFL to protect QB’s, more often than not, that sort of hit on a QB after he has released the ball is called “roughing the passer” in both leagues. No penalty was called on Bighill on that play.

Hopefully Dane Evans is not out of the lineup for very long. And fortunately for the BC Lions it sounds as if Vernon Adams jr. is prepared to return to the starting lineup for their next game.

And finally for those that are keeping score, out of the 6 “retread” QB’s who started the season at QB1 on the depth chart, plus the 2 veteran QB’s who started the season at QB2 (Shiltz & Evans), only 2 QB’s remain who have not missed any time due to injury:

  • Zach Collaros [Winnipeg]; &
  • Cody Fajardo [Montreal].

And so far, of those that have been injured, 2 will miss the remainder of the season [Masoli & Harris], while both of Hamilton’s QB’s at the top of the depth chart will miss at least 6 Games.


You forgot Masoli and Tyree Adams in Ottawa, both gone for the season.
And you forgot Kelly in Toronto that hasn’t missed a game.

Kelly and Collaros are largely responsible for their teams success so far. I am surprised O’Shea left Zach in the game when they were leading by so much. This season has shown when the starter goes down, so goes the team.


I think you will see O’Shea fired for leaving Collaros in too long.

I could be wrong but I have learned on here recently how that is a fireable offense.


Dane Evans got smacked by Bombers #4 Bighill a bit late , Evans came up holding his left chest and left the game later .
I hope someone smacks Zac soon,just lay it on him Bigtime….