On Saturday the Ottawa Redblacks opened up TD Place to a few hundred fans. The last time fans were at TD Place was for the team’s 2019 CFL season finale when Ottawa hosted the Alouettes in November of 2019, making the inner-squad game even more exciting for not only the fans but the players as well, being able to get back into game situations once again in front of fans.
The Ottawa Redblacks’ inner-squad game was a success. Fans got to see exactly what they wanted, despite not being able to see some key starters play so many snaps however that was expected considering that it was treated as a pre-season game, and an opportunity for the young, new comers to prove themselves.
In the game, Redblacks fans got to see the defence take the ball away, having Brad Muhammad and Brad Cowan get tip-ball interceptions, Cowan’s going all the way back for a touchdown, they saw young receivers making plays; both Joe Walker and Jordan Smallwood caught touchdown passes while national receivers Nate Behar, Daniel Petermann and Wesley Lewis each made a number of catches, the best of the day coming from Wesley Lewis on a 37 yard diving grab at mid-field from Taryn Christion’s arm and they also got their very first look at a new look offensive line which made room for newly signed running back Justin Davis who displayed his elusiveness, breaking for a long run and getting a few other carries here and there. For the most part though, the Redblacks’ inner-squad game was just a good sign to have football back in the nation’s capital once again following a long off-season.
Fans were happy to be back and the players were even happier, even showing it when they began and finished the practice, coming around the Northside stands, thanking R-Nation for the continuous support they’ve given over the pandemic and now almost post-pandemic.
Unfortunately Matt Nichols and Timothy Flanders weren’t seen in the backfield due to some training camp injuries and some of the veterans on defence like Antoine Pruneau didn’t get too much action, making room for the younger guys to prove themselves but overall it was a good start to the 2021 CFL season for the Ottawa Redblacks and they showed glimpses of why R-Nation should believe in them moving forward to the August 7th game against the Edmonton Elks.