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Trying to stop their losing streak in five games, the Ottawa Redblacks will turn to a rookie quarterback on Tuesday night against the Edmonton Elks. Or, at least, it sure looks like they will.

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Redblacks head coach Paul LaPolice did not confirm that Caleb Evans or Taryn Christion would start the game, but Dominique Davis, the starter going to last week’s 24-7 loss to Hamilton, is on the disabled list. of six sets (hamstring). And, according to the team’s injury report, veteran Matt Nichols (shoulder / neck) did not practice Sunday at TD Place. So it looks like RNation is going to meet the fifth and maybe sixth quarterback they’ve seen in action since 2019 (that bad team from two seasons ago had Jonathon Jennings and Will Arndt taking snapshots along with Davis).

What can we expect from 23-year-old Evans and / or 24-year-old Christion? Christion’s quickness and elusiveness earned him several looks in the NFL, including a week with the Steelers in 2019, when he was asked to imitate Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson in practice. Evans also has running ability and a great arm. What neither of them have is CFL gaming experience.

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“Both guys had really outstanding college careers,” LaPolice said. “They threw the ball with precision, high TD, low interceptions. They ran the ball well and were able to create with their legs. Looking at Taryn, she has been very professional in everything she does, understanding what we are trying to do schematically and what we are trying to achieve. He’s done a good job processing the readings, seeing where the ball should go, and putting the ball in the money for the guys. Caleb is very similar, he is a little younger, he just finished college. His arm is as strong as any we have and he has been very precise.

“The weird part for them, they haven’t even been in the preseason game. You usually have two preseason games to evaluate. It is unfortunate that in this COVID year they have to step onto the field without the full, full and full speed of a true game. (Former Winnipeg Blue Bombers QB) Chris Streveler started out as a true rookie, but he also had two preseason games and had reps as No. 2 throughout training camp. “

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“It’s definitely going to be different because they’re actually tackling me,” Evans said. “You have to adjust to feeling the blows again. The nerves will be there, but at the end of the day it’s football, you have to think about it that way ”.

“I’m excited to be back in the game,” Christion said. “TOAs hard as you try to replicate the speed of the game, you won’t be able to do it until you’re in the game. (In the CFL), there are definitely a bit more transient than I was used to. But I felt good throwing the ball and getting used to the wider field. They’re a little longer throws, but you just get the muscle memory for it. “

While both quarterbacks are eager for a shot, they still feel for their injured teammates, who have been excellent sources of information and support along the way.

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“It’s a bit of mixed emotions because I got injured, I’ve been that guy who got hurt and was out for a long time. I don’t wish that on anyone, ”Christion said. “It’s the worst thing about the game, when guys get hurt, but it’s part of the game. No matter where you are in the depth chart, you just have to be ready. You prepare each week like you’re going to be the guy, even though you know you may not get reps or even dress for the game. “

THE GREAT ARRANGEMENT

How do the Redblacks turn the tables? How do they win a soccer game, something they haven’t done since Game 1 of the season, when they sidetracked the Elks 16-12? One big reason is that your gift / reward ratio keeps getting worse. Before Wednesday’s loss to Hamilton, the Redblacks had committed 13 turnovers and forced just four. That minus-9 took a step in the wrong direction against the Ticats, with an interception thrown by Davis (it was for a Ticats touchdown) and a DeVonte Dedmon fumble deep into the Ottawa endgame) were the biggest mistakes. With five more turnovers, Ottawa is now at minus 14 for the season.

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“As I have told the players, we have won a game this year and (in that game) we won the turnover margin,” LaPolice said. We have to put points on the board, that’s something else. We cannot make critical mistakes that take you off the field; We’ve done it at times, whether it’s on a pick six, if it’s a fumble, if you’re not running your call line, or giving up an explosive play. We have to work like hell to make sure we do those things. It may sound like a broken record, but those are the things that winning teams do. Our defense did a good job sticking to that, but no one in the Canadian Football League has won in the last four years with a minus-5 (rotation difference), maybe it happened once. “

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THE END AROUND

Will Trevor Harris start as QB for the Elks on Tuesday? Maybe. Maybe not. Harris, who entered the six-game disabled list Sept. 16 with a neck injury, was activated Saturday after missing just one game. But Elks head coach (and former Redblacks offensive coordinator) Jaime Elizondo said Sunday that the team would bring its three quarterbacks (including Taylor Cornelius and Dakota Prukop) to Ottawa, without committing to who would start. … Redblacks offensive linemen Nolan MacMillan and Jamar McGloster were still listed as “limited” during Sunday practice on the team’s injury report.

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