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Ottawa Releases Draft Pick, Linebacker Zachary Philion 

We are only one game into the season and Ottawa has decided to part ways with a 2024 Draft Pick. Zachary Philion was released on Wednesday in advance of their Thursday night matchup in Montreal. The 7th-round pick had initially made it on the practice roster where he stuck for just over two weeks. 

Philion was a victim of the numbers game as Ottawa opted to lean on 3-down experience with James Peter as the primary depth at inside linebacker instead of Taylor in their first game of the season. This left room for Philion on the practice roster, however, it was Justin Howell’s return from injury that removed the roster spot James Peter was occupying and by a consequence, the practice roster spot Philion was occupying. Philion did not log any statistics this preseason but worked under Deion Melvin a renowned linebackers coach. 

To his credit, Philion says he is ready to play if and when a team calls. It could even be with Ottawa in the coming weeks as they continue to deal with the ebbs and flows of a 21-week season. Philion has also said he would consider alternative options such as the European League of Football, although he doesn’t believe Indoor football is for him. He is a unique player who has dual citizenship so he could in theory sign with a UFL team as well. He also has one year of school eligibility left and could return to make himself eligible for a roster exemption in 2025. He has already graduated but this may be his best course back to the CFL.

His agent

Roster Gymnastics 

The former Concordia Stinger was replaced by 2023 draft pick James Peter on the practice roster after they decided to activate Davion Taylor for their second game of the season. Taylor will see his first action of the season against Montreal in week three. This gave him an extra week to get acclimated to the CFL style of play, now it remains to be seen how big of a role he will have. Linebackers who stand 230 pounds and run 4.35 don’t come around often. There’s a reason he was drafted in the third round by the NFL. Even Ottawa was surprised he would consider the CFL when they reached out given his abilities. 

Other changes on the depth chart include:

Zachary Pelehos is starting at right tackle again with Dontae Bull on the 1-game injury list. Just in time Jacob Ruby has returned to the lineup and will go into this game as the only depth on the roster. 

Justin Howell is back at safety to add some much-needed depth in the secondary. Howell returning is what led to there being one less roster spot. Davion Taylor was on the active roster but was one of two healthy scratches due to league rules. 

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Sam Just Reporter
I am a writer and content creator focusing on alternative football leagues like the UFL, CFL, AFL, IFL, NAL, and AIF. If you like alternative football leagues, check out my personal platform Shady Sports Network on YouTube and all your favorite social media platforms.
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