In a major blow for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, starting quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell is set to undergo surgery for a fractured lower leg. Despite the severity of the injury, sustained in Friday night’s win against the Ottawa Redblacks, the prognosis for Mitchell is positive, with the team expecting a full recovery after his time on the six-game injured list.
Mitchell, a stalwart of the CFL, has had an unfortunate run with injuries this season. He had only recently returned to action from a previous stint on the six-game injured list due to a lower body injury suffered in Week 2 against the Toronto Argonauts. His triumphant return to the field against Ottawa, however, ended abruptly as he was carried off by his teammates after a painful short-yardage attempt.
The controversial play that led to Mitchell’s injury, with only 13 seconds left in the game, appears to have been a mix-up. According to TSN’s Dave Naylor, the Ticats’ sideline was expecting Mitchell to take a knee to end the game, not the quarterback sneak that ultimately resulted in the injury.
The 33-year-old QB, who recently inked a three-year contract extension worth over $1.5 million with the Tiger-Cats, has had a distinguished career in the CFL. Over ten seasons with the Calgary Stampeders, Mitchell chalked up 32,541 yards, throwing for 188 touchdowns and 89 interceptions, and winning two Most Outstanding Player awards and two Grey Cups.
In the three games he played this season, Mitchell completed 56 of 97 passes for 711 yards, notching up three touchdowns and nine interceptions. This injury adds to the challenges faced by the Tiger-Cats who were already dealing with another injured QB, Matthew Shiltz, sidelined in Week 6.
With Mitchell and Shiltz both on the six-game injured list, rookie Taylor Powell is likely to fill the void. Powell got his first taste of CFL action as a starter in Week 7, in the Ticats’ loss to the Argonauts.
Despite these setbacks, the Tiger-Cats remain competitive in the league with a 3-3 record. They will be looking to leverage the strengths of their roster as they host the Montreal Alouettes on Saturday, August 5th, aiming for a much-needed victory. As the team navigates the remainder of the season without their starting quarterback, all eyes will be on how they adjust their strategy and who steps up to fill Mitchell’s sizeable shoes.
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