(Photo by the Canadian Press)

(Photo by the Canadian Press)

Leg injury could force Stamps’ starter Bo Levi Mitchell to sidelines versus Alouettes

CALGARY — The Calgary Stampeders could be minus veteran quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell when they host the Montreal Alouettes on Friday.

Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson said Mitchell’s presence under centre is “definitely up in doubt.” Mitchell reportedly suffered a leg injury in Calgary’s season-opening 23-20 loss to the Toronto Argonauts on Aug. 7 and played through it in the club’s 15-9 loss to the B.C. Lions on Thursday night.

The absence of Mitchell, twice the CFL’s outstanding player, would leave Calgary (0-2) with Canadian Michael O’Connor and American rookie Jake Maier at quarterback.

“We let multiple guys take reps (Monday),” Dickenson said. “I still think I want to have Mike and Jake doing everything they can to be ready to play, both of them.

“I’ll make that decision as the week goes on but (it’s) certainly in doubt.”

Mitchell, 31, has completed 44-of-73 passes (60.3 per cent) for 542 yards with one touchdown and five interceptions so far this season. Four of the picks came against B.C.

Dickenson wouldn’t divulge the nature of Mitchell’s injury.

“He had it from Week 1,” Dickenson said. “He was able to play and practise, it’s not like it’s something he hasn’t dealt with.

“I’m hoping not (injury isn’t long-term) and I’m really not getting told that. If it’s long-term you’re going to see a six-game. If it’s week by week … then we’ll just play it out.”

If Mitchell can’t go, O’Connor would present the more experienced option. The 25-year-old Ottawa native spent his first CFL season with Toronto in 2019, suiting up in nine games and seeing action in two.

The six-foot-five, 223-pound O’Connor has completed 15-of-25 passes for 173 yards and a TD in the CFL.

Should O’Connor get the start against Montreal (1-0), he’d be the second Canadian to open a CFL contest this season. Nathan Rourke, a Victoria native who grew up in Oakville, Ont., started the B.C. Lions’ season opening 33-29 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Aug. 6.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press