With the Hamilton Tiger-Cats losing their first two games of the season, the franchise has decided to make a change at quarterback. Dane Evans was named the new starter over Jeremiah Masoli on Wednesday morning, and will appear in the team’s upcoming game against the Montreal Alouettes on Friday. It’s unclear if this change is temporary or permanent, but Evans is now expected to put the Tiger-Cats in a position to win games.
Evans took over for Masoli during the team’s last game against the Roughriders on August 14th. Although he had 7 incompletions and only 21 passing yards, the Tiger-Cats saw enough promise to move forward with him. Evans filled in for an injured Masoli in 2019, and led the Tiger-Cats to a Grey Cup appearance. However, with this being the first CFL season in 2 years, only time will tell if Evans can play at that same level again.
Evans was born in Chickasha, Oklahoma, and played college football at the University of Tulsa from 2013 to 2016. In 2015, he had 4,332 passing yards, which was the eighth-most passing yards for an NCAA Division I FBS quarterback that season.
After four years at Tulsa, Evans entered the 2017 NFL Draft. He was rated as the 25th-best quarterback in the class according to nfldraftscout.com. Although he was not selected, Evans signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent. He was released during final roster cuts.
Just over a month after being released by the Eagles, Evans was signed to the Tiger-Cats practice roster. He wouldn’t see any playing time until the following season in 2018, however. Evans appeared in three games that year, recording 383 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions.
After his breakout campaign in 2019, the Tiger-Cats made sure that Evans would stay with the team. He had signed a three-year deal before the Grey Cup run, but Hamilton gave him more guaranteed money with the existing contract as an incentive. Despite that, when the CFL returned just a few weeks ago, the Tiger-Cats went back to Masoli as their QB1. He has been dealing with sore ribs since the loss at Saskatchewan, but considering he’s struggled this season, Masoli may not get the starting job back even after he’s healed.
It’s now Evans’ time to show what he can do on the field. Tiger-Cats fans have only seen a glimpse of his potential, and there’s a chance he remains the starter for a while. It will all depend on the team’s success and how they can adjust to a change at a key position. The Tiger-Cats are familiar with Evans as a player, though, and they’re now relying on him to avoid an 0-3 start.
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