Redblacks turn to QB Jennings vs. Bombers in place of injured Davis

Jonathon Jennings will start Friday night when the Ottawa Redblacks visit the undefeated Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Veteran Jennings signed with Ottawa after 4 seasons with B.C. Lions

Jonathon Jennings, pictured last season with the B.C. Lions, will start at quarterback for the Ottawa Redblacks against Winnipeg on Friday. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Jonathon Jennings will start Friday night when the Ottawa Redblacks visit the undefeated Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Jennings worked with the starting offence at Tuesday's practice. Afterwards, head coach Rick Campbell said Jennings will be under centre versus Winnipeg as incumbent Dominique Davis has an unspecified injury.

"He (Davis) isn't well enough to play," Campbell said. "We don't think it's overly serious.

"We expect him back sooner than later but he's not going to be able to play this week."

Winnipeg (4-0) is the CFL's lone unbeaten team and earned a 29-14 road victory over Ottawa on July 5. The Redblacks (2-2) come into the game having dropped two straight, including a 36-19 loss to the Montreal Alouettes on Saturday at TD Place.

The start will be Jennings' first with Ottawa. He joined the Redblacks as a free agent after four seasons with B.C. In 2016, Jennings threw for 5,226 yards and 27 TDs — both career highs — with the Lions.

"They won a lot of games with him," Campbell said of Jennings. "He's athletic, he throws really well.

"I like his demeanour, he's got a calm demeanour about him. I'm looking forward to seeing him play. We said right from the beginning we thought we could win with both of these guys and that's why we signed both of them."

Davis opened the season as Ottawa's starter following the off-season departure of Trevor Harris to the Edmonton Eskimos. Davis boasts a 66-per-cent completion percentage with 1,132 passing yards but has more than twice as many interceptions (seven) as TD strikes (three).

He has also rushed for 76 yards and five TDs on 15 carries (5.1-yard average).

It was a mixed bag for Davis in Ottawa's season-opening 32-28 road win over Calgary on June 15. He had four interceptions but also ran for three touchdowns.

Ottawa starter Dominique Davis has an unspecified injury but might still dress for Friday's game against Winnipeg. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Campbell said Davis will make the trip to Manitoba with the Redblacks and could dress for Friday's game. If not, then Campbell added Ottawa is prepared to go with just Jennings and rookie William Arndt.

"The thing I like about both Dom, Jonathan and Will is that they all prepare like they're playing," Campbell said. "They all help each other.

"It's a very healthy quarterback room which is good. It's not like this is a drastic shift. Obviously the other guys is going to be playing but they all carry themselves in the same way."

Campbell said veteran defensive backs Antoine Pruneau and Jonathan Rose and rookie receiver Seth Coate are all hurt and won't play Friday, at the very least. But Campbell added rookie John Crockett will start Friday night at running back.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.