[b]WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have acquired some depth under centre while Drew Willy mends, acquiring Matt Nichols Wednesday in a trade with the Edmonton Eskimos. Going the other way is the Bombers' 7th round pick in the 2017 CFL Draft.
The 28-year-old provides some much-needed veteran experience at the quarterback position in the wake of an injury to Bombers’ starting quarterback. Willy has been sidelined since Aug. 9, when he suffered a knee injury in a loss to the Ticats.
“Matt is a player with significant experience in this league," said Blue Bombers General Manager Kyle Walters. "He has proven to be a solidified quarterback, and will come in and add immediate depth to this position on our roster.?
Robert Marve currently holds down the Bombers’ starting role but could be challenged by Nichols. The 26-year-old Marve lost his first two career starts, including most recently a 36-8 loss to the Calgary Stampeders in which he completed 12 of 20 passes for 94 yards and two interceptions.
Nichols was once considered a top prospect in the Eskimos’ organization, viewed as a potential quarterback of the future. He competed for the starting job with Mike Reilly in 2013 but suffered a season-ending knee injury in pre-season.
Reilly emerged as one of the CFL’s top quarterbacks that season, while Nichols filled in during tow brief stints a year ago while the Esks’ starter was injured.
The Eastern Washington alum was given his first extended chance to start this year when Reilly suffered a knee injury in a season-opening loss to Toronto, but in seven starts Nichols threw more interceptions than touchdown passes.
On the season Nichols has thrown for 1,488 yards on 128-of-209 passing for eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His quarterback rating this season is 75.6 to go with a 61.2 completion percentage. For his career, Nichols owns an 82.1 quarterback rating and provides some quality insurance behind Willy on the Bombers’ depth chart.
Willy is three weeks into his six to eight week timeline to return.[/b][url=http://www.cfl.ca/article/bound-for-bomberland-esks-trade-nichols-for-pick]http://www.cfl.ca/article/bound-for-bom ... s-for-pick[/url]