CFL Pass

CFL picks: Als turn to Shiltz at quarterback with Adams serving suspension

Matthew Shiltz has some very big shoes to fill Saturday night.

Shiltz will take over at quarterback when the Montreal Alouettes visit the B.C. Lions. It will be his first start of the season and just his second since joining the Alouettes in 2017.

Shiltz replaces incumbent Vernon Adams Jr., suspended one game for a helmet-swinging incident in Montreal’s 38-37 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last week.

Adams was engaged with Winnipeg linebacker Adam Bighill on an interception return. As Adams was going down, he had a grip of Bighill’s face mask with both hands. Bighill’s helmet came off as the Alouettes quarterback went to the turf. Then while lying on his back, Adams Jr. swung the helmet with his left hand at Bighill. The Bombers’ star didn’t retaliate but tweeted afterward that the helmet hit him in the face.

Adams was flagged for unnecessary roughness, but wasn’t ejected as Montreal (7-5) rallied from a 24-point deficit to register the biggest comeback in club history. Adams certainly played a big role in that, throwing for 488 yards and four touchdowns.

Shiltz, 26, has appeared in two games this season, completing 11 of 16 passes for 107 yards. It he struggles, the Alouettes also have former starter Antonio Pipkin available.

The challenge for B.C. (3-10) will be forcing Shiltz and company into second-and-long situations. Montreal leads the CFL in average yards on first down (7.3).

The Lions are coming off consecutive wins over Ottawa. And though B.C. starter Mike Reilly has been sacked a CFL-high 46 times this year, the Redblacks got to him only once in the two games.

The Lions have also won 17 of the last 19 meetings against Montreal in Vancouver

Pick: B.C.

Tiger-Cats at Blue Bombers (Friday, 8:30 p.m.)

Hamilton (10-3) concludes its Western road trip looking to finish 2-1 after last weekend’s playoff-clinching 30-27 win in Edmonton. Dane Evans finished 22-for-30 for 336 yards and three touchdowns. The Ticats defence had three picks and allowed just 60 yards rushing on 17 carries. But Winnipeg (9-4) has the CFL’s rushing leader (Andrew Harris) and the top ground game (148.4 yards per game).

Pick: Winnipeg.

Eskimos at Redblacks (Saturday, 4 p.m.)

It’s unclear if Eskimos quarterback Trevor Harris will make his return to the Canadian capital as he’s listed as day to day with an upper-body injury. Logan Kilgore started last week against Hamilton, throwing for 223 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions as the Eskimos (6-7) suffered their fourth consecutive loss. Jonathon Jennings starts at quarterback for the Redblacks (3-10) but Dominique Davis will also play for the home team, which has dropped 10 of its last 11 games.

Pick: Edmonton.

Roughriders at Argonauts (Saturday, 7 p.m.)

Saskatchewan (8-4), which can clinch a post-season berth with a win, is 5-2 against the East Division. James Franklin starts for the Argos (2-10) after passing for 147 yards and a touchdown in relief of McLeod Bethel-Thompson in last week’s 23-16 home loss to Calgary. Franklin began the year as the starter but was injured and gave way to Bethel-Thompson, who went 2-8 at the helm.

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Pick: Saskatchewan.

Last week: 3-1.

Overall: 41-16.

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