The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have fought back from an 0-3 start to the 2023 season. Over the last two weeks, Hamilton has broken through and won games against the Ottawa Redblacks and the Edmonton Elks. In Week 7, the Tiger-Cats are trying to take the next step and get a home win against their rival and 2022 Grey Cup champions, the Toronto Argonauts.
While the Tiger-Cats have been working on competing at a high level each week and picking up wins, they have faced the reality of significant injury issues at the quarterback position. Those issues began with starting quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell suffering in Toronto during the season’s second game. That injury allowed backup quarterback Matthew Shiltz to step in and lead the Tiger-Cat’s offence. Matthew Shiltz has led the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to back-to-back wins and helped Hamilton pull into a three-way tie for 2nd place in the East Division.
In the third quarter of the Tiger-Cat’s road win at Edmonton, the Tiger-Cats suffered another injury at quarterback when Shiltz went down with an injury to his leg. That leaves the Tiger-Cats with Bo Levi Mitchell and Matthew Shiltz on the 6-Game Injured List. The injury to Shiltz again opens the door for another quarterback Taylor Powell.
Powell finished the Tiger-Cats victory in Edmonton, throwing two completions on four pass attempts for 47 yards and a touchdown. During that time, Powell became a believer from many Hamilton players and coaching staff.
A big part of Hamilton’s winning effort was running back James Butler, who expressed his belief in Powell “There is no dropoff with TP because he is coming in with confidence.” That confidence is due to Powell’s willingness to prepare as if he is going to play every week; Tyreik McAllister referenced Powell’s work ethic after the win “He did a great job; he is always prepared and ready to practice.”
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have announced that Powell will be the starter against the Toronto Argonauts on Friday. Head Coach Orlondo Steinauer talked about Powell after practice “He is a natural leader and commands the huddle.” While this game is an ample opportunity for the Tiger-Cats, this is also a significant opportunity for Powell. Steinauer added, “It doesn’t seem too big for him; he is very confident but not cocky, he’s prepared, a sponge, he is prepared but doesn’t pretend to know it all.”
Powell also displayed his confidence after practice making it clear that he was excited and ready for the opportunity. Powell said, “I wanted to be in this league; I want to be here.” The rookie quarterback feels that his experience playing at the FBS college level has led him to this opportunity.
On Friday, Powell will have a chance to start his first game in the CFL and do it as part of the Battle of the QEW against the Tiger-Cat’s biggest rival, the Toronto Argonauts. When asked about facing this challenge, Powell said, “They are undefeated; what else do you want as a competitor? I am ready to roll.”
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