Photo by Toronto Argos / CFL
After a long wait for fans and players, the 2021 Canadian Football League season kicked off August 5. This year, the CFL features more Ravens than ever, with several returning veterans on CFL rosters and a few new faces who made their pro debuts.
The week started with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Winnipeg to take on the Blue Bombers. Both Ravens who are with the Tiger-Cats were inactive for the opener. Tunde Adeleke, who is trying to become the first former Raven to play in four consecutive Grey Cups, missed the game with a hamstring injury. Kicker Michael Domagala is on the practice roster.
Tunde Adeleke with his one of two INT’s in 2019 (Photo: Ticats)
Friday night’s game saw the Saskatchewan Roughriders hang on to beat the BC Lions 33-29. Former Ravens defensive back Jacob Dearborn backed up at safety for the Green Riders and made the first defensive tackle of his career. As a rookie in 2019, Dearborn had four special teams tackles.
Jay Dearborn at 2021 Roughriders training camp (Photo: Roughriders)
On Saturday, former Ravens linebackers Jack Cassar and Trevor Hoyte played their first CFL game with the Toronto Argonauts. Cassar is backing up at middle linebacker and Hoyte is backing up at outside linebacker. Both saw action on special teams.
The final game of the weekend was Saturday night’s game in Edmonton. The Ottawa Redblacks shocked the Edmonton Elks 16-12. Fullback Mitch Raper did not make the trip for the Redblacks to face the team that originally drafted him, but other Ravens were in the line-up. Another Raven originally drafted by Edmonton, wide receiver Nate Behar, caught a pair of passes from new Ottawa quarterback Matt Nicholls.
Kene Onyeka backed up at defensive end and made the first defensive tackle of his career. During his rookie season in 2019, Onyeka played in six games and made three tackles, all of which were on special teams.
Left to right: Justin Howell, Nate Behar & Justin Howell (Photo: REDBLACKS)
Defensive back Justin Howell did not make the trip to Edmonton as he is on the six-game injured list.
Week 2 of the 2021 CFL season opens up with BC and Calgary Thursday, Toronto at Winnipeg Friday, and Saturday’s doubleheader has Montreal at Edmonton and Hamilton at Saskatchewan. Ottawa has a bye week.