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Vernon Adams Jr. to make first start for Lions vs. Stampeders

Sep 24, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Montreal Alouettes quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. (8) goes to throw a pass during warm up against the Toronto Argonauts at BMO Field. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Vernon Adams Jr. will be under center on Saturday night when the B.C. Lions visit the Calgary Stampeders in a battle for second place in the Canadian Football League’s West Division.

Acquired from Montreal on Aug. 31, Adams participated in a few offensive series in the Lions’ 31-10 loss to the Alouettes on Sept. 9.

Three days later, coach Rick Campbell named Adams the starting quarterback as B.C. (8-3) aims to snap a two-game skid against Calgary (8-4).

“I’m learning pretty quick. It’s more about getting the formation down but other than that, just keep studying,” the 29-year-old Adams said. “The reps on the field are going to help me a lot more. Last week, we were kind of splitting the reps. I’m getting a lot of reps this week so that’s going to help me.”

The trade for Adams was necessitated by the season-ending injury to quarterback Nathan Rourke, who was off to a scintillating start in 2022. Rourke threw for 488 yards and totaled four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing) in the Lions’ 41-40 victory over the Stampeders on Aug. 13.

Calgary rebounded from that setback to win three of its next four games, including a convincing 56-28 victory over struggling provincial rival Edmonton last Saturday.

Backup quarterback Tommy Stevens used his 6-foot-5, 245-pound frame to score four short-yardage rushing touchdowns against the Elks.

“Had good opportunities, guys put me in good positions to make plays, just tried to do my part,” Stevens said. “The guys up front took care of most of it for me, the guys on the edges, the receivers, the running backs, they all took care of the hard stuff for me. Just tried to do my part.”

Ka’Deem Carey added 118 yards and a touchdown last week. He leads the CFL in rushing yards (712) while averaging a robust 6.8 yards per carry.

–Field Level Media