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Canadian Football League (CFL)

CFL: Tiger-Cats, Blue Bombers battle in 2019 Grey Cup rematch

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Jeremiah Masoli will be Hamilton’s starting quarterback as the Tiger-Cats visit the reigning Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Thursday to kick off the 2021 CFL season.

Masoli edged Dane Evans for the honor, and the former couldn’t have been more appreciative as the league returns following a one-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Being in camp-mode, you don’t really look at it or get that perspective because it’s Groundhog Day, but man it’s an honor,” Masoli said on Monday. “I’m truly thankful and grateful. It’s an honor.”

Masoli, 32, passed for 1,576 yards and nine touchdowns and added four scores on the ground to lead Hamilton to a 5-1 record to start the 2019 season. A season-ending ACL injury to Masoli opened the door for Evans, who guided the Tiger-Cats to a CFL-best 15-3 mark and an eventual berth in the title game.

Reigning Most Outstanding Player Brandon Banks sustained a leg injury in Hamilton’s 33-12 loss to Winnipeg in the Grey Cup. He led the CFL in both receiving yards (1,550) and touchdown receptions (13) in 2019.

Blue Bombers star running back Andrew Harris was named the Grey Cup MVP and top Canadian after rushing for 134 yards and totaling two touchdowns in the title game. The 34-year-old has led the CFL in rushing in each of the last three seasons but his availability for Thursday’s game is in question due to a calf injury sustained in training camp.

Fellow running back Brady Oliveira, who like Harris is a Winnipeg native, is ready to be a workhorse if needed.

“It’s a blessing, I’m playing professional football. I’m a pro athlete in my hometown,” Oliveira said. “It’s truly a blessing. I never want to take this game for granted.”

Wide receiver Darvin Adams’ availability also is up for debate after he injured his shoulder on July 20. Both Adams and Harris did not practice on Sunday or Monday.

Quarterback Zach Collaros will be under center for Winnipeg after playing in just two games with the club following a trade from the Toronto Argonauts in 2019. He completed 22 of 28 passes for 221 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for the Blue Bombers.

–Field Level Media

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