After a long awaited 667 days since their last home game, the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks are back at TD Place and are back better than ever. There will be 15,000 fans watching the game live and hundreds of thousands on TSN as the capital of Canada gets football back after the pandemic.
Of course it may not be a normal game by any means, having just 15,000 of the 24,000 seats filled and wearing a mask, being spaced out from one another but the main thing for tonight’s kickoff at TD Place is that it is back. The Redblacks went 3-15 the last time they played at TD Place, losing their last home battle to the Montreal Alouettes but after a 1-1 road trip out west and a long off-season, improving the roster and coaching staff the Redblacks, who are led by Marcel Desjardins in the front office and Paul LaPolice as a head coach are ready to bring a win to all of R-Nation at home.
The Redblacks are fighting the injury bug in week 4 of the 2021 CFL season, losing Sherrod Baltimore, Abdul Kanneh, Gump Hayes, Stefan Charles, Stansly Maponga, Jordan Smallwood, Anthony Coombs and Timothy Flanders for the season’s home opener and potentially longer but there are plenty of other players here in Ottawa set to play in each of these positions. At defensive back rookies Marcus Lewis and Brad Muhammad are set to make their first CFL starts while Ese Mrabure and Davon Coleman replace the interior defensive linemen hurt for tonight and also on defence, Praise Martin Oguike is to make his CFL debut opposite from Avery Ellis on the defensive line. On offence Charone Peake, a former Clemson Tiger and New York Jets draft pick is making his CFL debut alongside running back Justin Davis who is an alum of USC and played with the Los Angeles Rams. The two additions on the offensive side of the ball bring strength, quickness and agility to a team that needs it and while the B.C Lions have struggled on the defensive side of the ball we may see the newcomers breakout at TD Place tonight, as well as DeVonte Dedmon and RJ Harris who each had themselves big games a week ago.
While it may be emotional for many, Paul LaPolice is beyond excited to have R-Nation at his very first Redblacks home game as the team’s head coach. He said earlier this week, “I want to make this the loudest place in the east.” as he refers to what he said when he was first hired by Ottawa now dating back to December of 2019. Watch the Ottawa Redblacks kickoff against the B.C Lions for the first time at TD Place since November 1st 2019 at 7:00 eastern and be on the lookout for the run game led by Justin Davis, Ryan Davis, DeVonte Dedmon, Charone Peake and RJ Harris in the pass game as well as Avery Williams, Don Unamba, Justin Howell and Avery Ellis on the defensive side of the ball as they and kickers Lewis Ward and Richie Leone could be big factors against the B.C Lions in tonight’s matchup.