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Montreal Alouettes Preseason Game 2 Preview vs. Ottawa RedBlacks: Emphasis on New Talent, Players to Watch, Depth Chart

The Montreal Alouettes will be making an emphasis on looking at new talent in their final preseason game as they rest many of their starters including quarterback Cody Fajardo. Ottawa on the other hand will be rolling pretty close to what we will see come week 1 of the regular season.

Game Details:

Date/Location: Friday, May 31/TD Place, Ottawa, ON
Kickoff Time: 7:00 PM ET, 4:00 PM PT
Channel: CFL+

Depth Chart

A Few Focal Points For Ottawa

QB Battle

Dustin Crum was the starter last year before the team brough in Dru Brown who was Winnipeg’s QB2 last year.

RB Battle

This game will be crucial in determining the starting running back. With Devonte Williams injured, the position is up for grabs. Last week Kylin Hill rushed 5 times for 33 yards and Ryquell Armstead rushed 7 times for 18 yards and a touchdown.

Nick Mardner

Mardner was drafted 2nd overall by Ottawa in the CFL Draft out of Auburn. He is the expected starter for the team.

Improving the Secondary

At times last year, the defensive secondary struggled. There are some personnel changes in this group and this game will be impactful for who wins some of those starting jobs.

Alouettes to Watch

Quarterbacks

Cody Fajardo will be among the players sitting the game out. #5 Caleb Evans will be the starting quarterback who was the QB2 last year. Last week Evans completed 10 of his 15 passes for 94 yards with 1 touchdown and added 32 rushing yards on 3 rushes.

#10 Davis Alexander will be the 2nd string quarterback in this contest. He continues to have a high completion percentage whenever he has played in the preseason. Last week Alexander completed 10 of his 12 passes for 89 yards and scored a rushing touchdown.

The third quarterback will be #16 James Morgan who only attempted 1 pass last week. Morgan signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 2023 out of Minnesota.

Runningbacks

35 Stevie Scott III will be the starting running back. Last week he rushed only 2 times for 2 yards. This week will be an opportunity to see more from him to better evaluate his play. He looked good in the USFL for the Michigan Panthers last season where he rushed 78 times for 295 yards (3.78 average) with 1 touchdown.

The only other running back will be #43 Michael Herzog who was drafted in the 6th round of the recent CFL Draft by Montreal. Herzog rushed 430 times for 2,273 yards (5.3 average) with 29 touchdowns over the last 2 seasons with Hillsdale College.

Starting Receivers

Every receiver who started last week is not dressing in this game instead we will get a good look at some of the new talent brought in this offseason. The following five receivers will get the start.

76 Charleston Rambo – led the team in receiving last week as he caught 4 passes for 71 yards. Rambo was in NFL systems the last 2 seasons after recording 79 catches for 1,172 yards in 2021 with the Miami Hurricanes.

88 Tajon Lindsey – Caught 3 passes last week for 17 yards. Lindsey was with the Seattle Seahawks through training camp last year until final roster cuts.

73 Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman – Caught 6 passes for 54 yards last week.RCB was Second Team All-IFL last year after catching 72 passes for 1,017 yards and 27 touchdowns.

79 Nicholas Gendron was not targeted last week. Gendron is an undrafted Canadian who caught 31 passes last season for 535 and 2 touchdowns over 8 games for the Ottawa Geegees last year.

81 Jose Barbon – Caught both of his targets last week for 13 yards and a touchdown. Barbon caught 71 passes for 910 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2022 with Temple.

Offensive line

#62 Nick Callender, #54 Justin Lawrence, and #53 Philippe Gagnon all started last year and thus will likely be a lock at their spot. This will be a key game for American tackles #65 Joshua Donovan, #60 Jazston Turnetine, and #64 Ja’Chai Baker. Canadian guard Theo Grant was a 4th round pick in the 2023 CFL Draft and is signed through the 2026 season. American left guard #68 Donald Ventrelli will get the start.

Starting Defensive Line

44 DE Jordan Domineck – Last week he had 1 tackle. He was a recent signing by Montreal. Domineck had 21.5 sacks over his collegiate career which saw him have stops with Georgia Tech, Arkansas, and Colorado.

96 DT Ifeanyi Maijeh – Maijeh had a sack and a QB hurry last week. He was an undrafted free agent signing with the Seattle Seahawks in 2023 out of Rutgers.

55 DT Jayson Ademilola – Ademilola was impressive last week recording 2 run stops and 2 QB hurries. He had 7.5 sacks and 133 total tackles with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish over 55 games.

93 DE Kivon Bennett – 

Starting Linebackers

38 WLB Smoke Monday – Monday didn’t have a tackle last week but he broke up a pass.

19 MLB Geoffrey Cantin-Arku – Montreal’s first-round pick looked good last week. Cantin-Arku had 4 tackles and a forced fumble in the last preseason game including a run stop, a pass stop, and assisted on another short passing play. He also had a QB hurry.

12 SLB Najee Murray – Murray was a starting halfback in 2022 for Montreal. He moved to strong-side linebacker last season until an injury cut his season short 6 games into the season.

Starting Secondary

29 CB Cre’Von LeBlanc – LeBlanc had 4 tackles and a pass defended last week. Leblanc has played in 52 NFL regular season games where he made 102 solo tackles, 16 assisted tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 interceptions.

22 HB Dionté Ruffin – Ruffin had 1 tackle last week and assisted with a run stop. Ruffin started in every game he was healthy for for Montreal last year primarily at cornerback.

21 S Arthur Hamlin – Last week Hamlin had a tackle and a fumble recovery. He was the 2nd round draft selection for Montreal in the previous CFL Draft.

8 HB Nafees Lyon – Lyon started in 8 games at cornerback for Montreal in 2022 and was the starting corner to start the 2023 season. Unfortunately, an injury sustained in week 1 last year ended his season. Last week he led the team in tackles with 5 and also had an interception and a fumble recovery.

39 CB Myles Brooks – Brooks made a tackle and defended a pass last week. Brooks was All-Conference USA Second Team in 2022 and was with the Dallas Cowboys through the 2023 training camp until close to final cuts.

Topics Covered in Last Week’s Preview

Montreal Alouettes Preseason Game 1 Preview vs. Toronto Argonauts: Roster Implications, Depth Chart

Key Roster Departures From Last Season

Focal Points for the Alouettes in this Game

Who will back up Fajardo?

Who will be the starting running back come the regular season?

Week 1 Starting Receivers?

The Composition of the Defensive Line

Linebacker Depth Personnel

New Look in the Secondary

Note on the Offensive Line

Positional Group Battles to Monitor

@JonathanClink on Twitter

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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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