If he wanted to silence his detractors and reassure his bosses, Montreal Alouettes quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. failed miserably Friday night at Percival-Molson Stadium.
In the second and final preseason game for his team, the pivot threw three interceptions against the B – or even C – defense of the Ottawa Redblacks. The “Als” still won 27 to 26 thanks to an effort from the reserves at the end of the duel.
The evening had started well for Adams Junior. On their first offensive sequence, the Alouettes went for 72 yards and the number 3 scored the touchdown on a quarterback sneak.
The sky then fell on the one who is expected to be the starter for the club. At the end of the first quarter and the start of the second, the 29-year-old was the victim of three thefts in four attempted passes. He saw his clash come to an end after the last interception he threw, with nearly 10 minutes left before the half-time break.
Adams Jr. therefore concluded his evening of work with six completions in 12 attempts for gains of 69 yards in six streaks on offense. He also amassed 12 yards with his legs. It was also the American's first game since October 11, as he suffered a left shoulder injury that ended his 2021 campaign.
Coming in relief to Adams Jr. for the end of the second quarter, Trevor Harris did little better. The 36-year-old veteran was the victim of an interception and only completed three of the seven passes he attempted. Quarterbacks Davis Alexander and Dominique Davis shared the job in the second half.
The game against the Rouge et Noir marked the debut of the very first choice of the last draft of the Canadian Football League: Tyrell Richards.
The Canadian linebacker was used defensively during the second half. He made his presence felt from his first appearance by hitting the opposing quarterback head-on. With the force of the impact, Tyrie Adams fumbled the ball and Alouettes defensive lineman Brock Gowanlock recovered the precious object. The latter also had an excellent game and hit the opposing pivot three times behind the line of engagement.
As for other positives, defensive backs Wes Sutton and Herb Waters pleased the fans with one larceny apiece. In addition, punt returners Mario Alford and Chandler Worthy showed great things when they had the chance.
Now that the preparatory schedule is a thing of the past, the Alouettes' staff must make its final cuts. As of Friday night, there were 88 players on the Montreal roster. General manager Danny Maciocia will have to release more than 30 to meet the limit imposed by the CFL.
“We are going to have to make difficult decisions,” said Maciocia, when crossed on the press gallery.
The GM, head coach Khari Jones and the rest of the “Als” staff will meet at 6 a.m. Saturday morning to select the 45 regular players for their training and the 10 athletes who will make up the club’s reserve team.