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Montreal Alouettes Bring Back Linebacker Darnell Sankey Through 2025, Grey Cup and XFL Champion

Per the Canadian Press, The Montreal Alouettes have extended linebacker Darnell Sankey keeping him in Montreal through the 2025 season. Darnell Sankey is the only player to win an XFL championship and a Grey Cup in the same year. 

Darnell Sankey played in all 3 of the Alouettes’ playoff games during their Grey Cup post-season run. He contributed 22 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 interceptions, 2 passes defended, and a fumble recovery over the playoffs. He also contributed 2 QB hurries, 3 run stops, and assisted on 3 other run stops by my count.

Sankey made many key plays over the Alouettes’ postseason. In the Eastern Semi-Final against Hamilton, he caught a deflected pass for an interception, showed good pursuit closing in for a sack on Matthew Shiltz during a scramble, and broke up a pass when blitzing. In the Eastern Final against Toronto, Sankey made an interception on a play in which Chad Kelly was chased out of the pocket by Mustafa Johnson, and made a key run stop against Kelly in the red zone in the 4th quarter.

In the Grey Cup Sankey led the team in tackles with 8. He made a 2nd quarter run stop keeping Brady Oliveira to 3 yards on the carry. He assisted on a Lwal Uguak run stop in the 3rd quarter holding Oliveira to 4 yards. He made a big hit on Nic Demski near the end of the first quarter that set up 3rd and 7 forcing Winnipeg to punt. He made a key sack on Winnipeg’s 2nd last drive which forced Winnipeg to punt prior to Montreal’s game-winning drive.

Darnell Sankey played in 6 regular season games with the Alouettes following his mid-season signing. Over the regular season, he made 31 tackles, a sack, an interception, and 2 passes defended. The Alouettes have won every game in which Sankey was listed as a starter.

Prior to joining the Alouettes this past season, Sankey won the XFL Championship with the Arlington Renegades. Despite missing 2 of the 10 regular season games, Sankey finished 16th in tackles in the XFL. He made 47 total tackles (20 solo), a sack, and 3 tackles for loss over the regular season. He also added 6 tackles (2 solo) over the 2 playoff games. According to Pro Football Focus, Sankey had the 5th highest run defense grade among XFL linebackers.

Prior to the 2023 season, Darnell Sankey had played in 32 CFL games contributing 218 tackles, 4 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and an interception. In 2022 he set the record for the most tackles in a season by a Saskatchewan Roughrider with 120. He also played in 1 CFL playoff game in 2021 with Calgary during which he made 6 tackles.

The Alouettes have made 2 key signings in recent days on the defensive side of the ball in Darnell Sankey and Shawn Lemon. However, they have much work yet to do this offseason with key defensive players pending to be a free agent. Such as lineman Avery Ellis, linebackers Tyrice Beverette and Avery Williams, and defensive back Ciante Evans. Another versatile player pending free agency is Najee Murray who this season started at both halfback and cover linebacker prior to his season-ending injury 6 games into the season. Murray was named to the PFF Team of the Week in week 1 and week 8.

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Interviews ahead of the Grey Cup:
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
: K Sergio Castillo, DE Willie Jefferson, QB Dakota Prukop, RB Brady Oliveira
Montreal Alouettes: LB Tyrice Beverette, LB Reggie Stubblefield, DT Mustafa Johnson, K David Côté, DE Shawn Lemon, CB Kabion Ento, QB Cody Fajardo
Other Articles:
How Montreal Can Beat Winnipeg in the Grey Cup: Eight Keys to Victory
BC Lions’ Tibo Debaillie Interview Ahead of West Division Finals
Alouettes’ Jeshrun Antwi Interview Ahead of East Finals
Alouettes’ Reggie Stubblefield Interview Ahead of East Semi-Finals
BC Lions’ Tibo Debaillie Ahead of CFL West Semi-Finals
Predicting the Rest of the CFL Season
CFL 2nd Period All-Star Team (Weeks 8-14)
CFL Midseason All-Star Team, Awards
First Period CFL and Divisional All-Stars

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Jonathan Clink Reporter
Jonathan Clink joined CFL News Hub in early April of 2023. His primary responsibilities are covering the BC Lions and Montreal Alouettes. He self awarded himself the CFL Rookie Journalist of the Year in 2023 following the 2023 CFL season. He also proclaims himself to be a "really cool guy". He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and lived a large portion of his childhood in Northwest Ontario. He currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and misses being being able to have 4 months of skating every winter. Clink has written over 240 articles for CFL News Hub. He was the publication's boots on the ground at the 2023 Grey Cup in Hamilton. Clink has always had an obsession for sport and has a background in other sports as well having played hockey all his life and soccer, basketball, and lacrosse in high school. As a young child he used to log his hockey statistics after every game which is either an indication that he was destined for the role or perhaps and indication that he is rather strange.
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