Fans are eager for another set of CFL games from the sidelines this fall
After a hiatus from professional football in Canada, the Canadian Football League is back with a new set of matchups set to begin the first week of August. Opening day will kick off with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers going head-to-head against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, two franchises who last met on the stage of the 107th Grey Cup in November of 2019.
In the 2021 season, nine different teams will compete over the course of 16 weeks, all leading up to the Championship game which will be held in December. In this article we take a look at a few players that are expected to bring big things to the CFL’s highly anticipated comeback season.
Coming back to the game after two full off seasons, the BC Lions football team are ready to dive headfirst into a new set of matchups with their elite quarterback, Michael Reilly, who has already begun training camp. After reaching an agreement to re-sign with the organization through 2022, Reilly is back in the CFL’s QB spotlight and undoubtedly one of the league’s most talented players. With both a Grey Cup MVP and CFL Most Outstanding Player award under his belt, the athlete’s impressive football resume speaks for itself. One of his greatest areas of expertise, Reilly’s arm strength allows him to reach new standards in yards passed.
Fans are expecting big plays from the QB in 2021, as BC Lions supporters know that a healthy, football hungry Reilly is an important ingredient for potential championship victory. Additionally, because Canada has recently regulated online sports betting, fans of the franchise can place their ultimate trust in Reilly throughout the 18-game season, all the way up to the playoffs. Certainly, for Canadian punters the opportunity to place wagers on Reilly’s QB performance brings them closer to the real-time action than ever before. Of course, it will just be a matter of time until fans will see how Reilly and the Lions fare after such a lengthy break from professional competitions.
Brandon Banks is another CFL player that fans should keep their eyes on. The wide receiver and return specialist from Kansas State currently plays for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. It was as a member of this franchise that Banks recorded a personal and team record for most receptions in a single season with a whopping 112. He also rushed for a cumulative 1,550 yards. Not to mention he was named the league’s Most Outstanding Player in 2019, a title that is only given to one CFL athlete annually and has not been awarded to a Hamilton Tiger-Cat in 20 years. Given these figures, it isn’t hard to see why Banks is a top threat going into the 2021 season.
Most Canadian football fans will remember Andrew Harris for being the proud recipient of the Grey Cup MVP award in 2019. As a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the running back was highly influential in the Big Blue’s achievement of a Championship win during the CFL’s last active season. During the game, Harris recorded 18 carries for an impressive 134 rushing yards as well as two touchdowns. Nowadays, the athlete is busy training and practicing for the new season, as Winnipeg’s first game will take place on August 5th at their home stadium, IG Field.
Andrew Harris isn’t the only CFL player with impressive stats in 2019. The Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo also performed exceptionally well, with 28 touchdowns and 4,302 total passing yards. In his Western division, Number 7 managed to snag a Most Outstanding Player nominee for his efforts and led the franchise to conclude the season as 1st place finishers with a 13-5 record.
The only downside to Fajardo’s football resume is his oblique muscle injury that was sustained in the 2019 season and made him questionable for some games. As fans prepare for August 6th, The Markcast discusses QB situations like this and more over on their CFL podcast.
A previous member of the Green Bay Packers and Las Vegas Raiders, William Stanback now plays for the Canadian league where he has been wearing Montreal Alouettes’ colors for the majority of his career. The running back is one to watch in 2021 because of his elite athleticism, size, and power which make him a player that is extremely tough to tackle. After a brief stint in the NFL, Stanback is returning to Canadian turf hungry to take on the fierce competition that awaits him in the CFL.
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