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Redblacks Lose Devonte Dedmon, Release Quan Bray, Sign Ryquell Armstead

The injury bug has bitten the Redblacks once again. As if Ottawa’s luck hasn’t been bad enough this season now Ottawa loses one of their most explosive offensive players, and primary kick returner. This is particularly upsetting as a fan of Dedmon. This could slam shut his NFL window for good as he turns 28 in November this year. Dedmon recently signed an extension with Ottawa, so the thought is when healthy he will likely return to the Redblacks.

Devonte has spent his entire CFL Career with Ottawa but as of late has suffered through several injuries. As a rookie in 2019 he managed to play in just five regular season games for Ottawa before an injury cut his season short. Despite the short season Dedmon still managed to collect 22 punt returns, 16 kick returns, 1 field goal return, a total of 945 yards, and 2 touchdowns. 

In 2020 the CFL Season was cancelled leaving several players with no place to play. In 2021 Dedmon returned to where it began for him and later signed a one year extension with Ottawa cementing his place with the Redblacks for the 2022 season. In 2021 Dedmon had a career year helping the team as a runner, receiver, and return man. This time he suited up 11 times with one start collecting 21 offensive touches for 171 yards and 1 touchdown, he added a career high 49 kick returns for 1,223 yards and another touchdown with 4 field goal returns for 103 yards. On punt return unit he had 48 punt returns for 737 yards and 2 touchdowns breaking the CFL record for fastest to five return touchdowns. Doing so in just 15 games. 

He would be named the John Argo Special Teams Player of the year, CFL All-Star and CFL East All-Star on the strength of 101 returns for 2,023 yards and 3 touchdowns, an unbelievable performance that caught the attention of the Miami Dolphins. 

NFL Opportunity Comes from Record Setting Season

Headed into the 2022 season, Dedmon was signed by Miami in January and given a chance to compete for the starting role as Miami’s return specialist. He ultimately was released on August 16th just before the final cuts for the NFL. Just four days later be returned to Ottawa to much fanfare. 

Joining Ottawa midway through the 2022 season, he would be prevented from playing a full season once again but not due to injury this time. Playing in 6 games, he collected 13 punt returns, 8 kick returns, 8 receptions, 2 field goal returns and 2 carries he totaled 495 yards but didn’t score for the first time in his CFL career. 

In January of 2023, Ottawa signed Dedmon to a two-year contract extension, perhaps an admission from Dedmon that he will finish out his career in the CFL where he has already set records and solidified a roster spot. Unfortunately he would make it just two games into his 2023 season. However looking at the overall scope of his Redblacks career, injuries or not his production has been nothing short of game-changing. My condolences to Dedmon on this latest injury, I can’t wait to see him healthy and back on the field. 

Redblacks Sign Ryquell Armstead

Ryquell Armstead is the second former 2023 XFL running back Ottawa has signed. With DeMontre Tuggle finding success it makes sense to revisit that well of talent. Armstead is a former 5th round pick of Jacksonville but never really got his NFL career off the ground. 

After spending the first two years of his career in Jacksonville he was released and bounced around 3 other practice squads before returning to the Jaguars and playing out the 2021 season. He fell out of the NFL after that season and spent 2022 out of football. This led him to the XFL Draft for the 2023 season where he was selected by the DC Defenders

He would go on to play 8 games with the team but unfortunately he was released before they finished their season 11-2. He managed 64 carries, for 218 yards, adding 4 receptions for 37 yards and 1 touchdown. With the injuries across the board, Armstead’s signing makes sense. It’s possible we could see him used as a kick returner although he is fairly inexperienced at the position. More than likely they added him as depth knowing DeMontre Tuggle will likely get used as a return man. 

Dedmon is a guy who contributed as a runner at times, so losing him on top of the injuries to Williams, and Milanovic, is a rather large blow to the roster affecting both the pass game, and run game, as well as special teams. Regardless who steps in they have enormous shoes to fill. 

As if Injury Woes Weren’t Enough…

The Ottawa Redblacks have released one of the leading receivers in 2023 in Quan Bray. Bray was let go due to an arrest warrant that was issued due to a sexual assault incident that occurred during his time with the Montreal Alouettes per the Montreal Gazette.

The Redblacks didn’t hesitate when this news came to light, and immediately released Bray whose warrant has been cancelled. Bray isn’t likely to see the field in the CFL anytime soon after this news, and this SHOULD if guilty spell the end of his career as a football player. This is not his first run-in with the law, and there is a pattern of this behavior in his background. This move deepens the need for help at wide receiver.

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@SamShadySports Reporter
I began writing years ago out of an obsession with the NFL. I never intended to take it anywhere but after watching so many others succeed as freelance writers I decided it was worth a shot. I jumped I and have loved every minute of it. I have expanded my content to include YouTube, as well as Twitter Spaces, SoundCloud, and should be launching on Amazon Podcasts soon.
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