10 football players to keep an eye on during the 2021 CFL regular season

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The CFL is resuming play aft cancelling the 2020 play owed to the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: CFL unveils its COVID-19 crippled cancellation policy 

The league volition footwear disconnected a 14-game 2021 run Thursday nighttime with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers hosting the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The 2 teams met successful the past CFL contention played, with the Blue Bombers beating the Ticats 33-12 to seizure their archetypal Grey Cup rubric since 1990.

Here’s a look astatine 10 players worthy keeping an oculus connected this year.

Jordan Williams, LB, B.C.

Williams was the archetypal subordinate taken successful the 2020 draught but ne'er got to play arsenic the CFL cancelled the play owed to the COVID-19 pandemic. The six-foot, 232-pound Williams hasn’t played shot since 2017 erstwhile helium finished 2nd successful tackles astatine East Carolina with 89 — including 3 for a nonaccomplishment — with a forced fumble. The 27-year-old is an American by commencement but was deemed a nationalist due to the fact that his parent is Canadian. He declared for the 2020 draught aft attending a free-agent workout with Ottawa successful 2019.

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Kamar Jorden, WR, Calgary

Jorden has played conscionable 1 crippled since suffering a season-ending genu wounded midway done the ’18 season.

READ MORE: Stampeders equilibrium intensity, caution successful instrumentality to McMahon

At the time, helium had 55 catches for 944 yards and six TDs. The six-foot-three, 191-pound Jorden sat retired the full ’19 regular play earlier returning for the West Division semifinal, registering 2 catches for 15 yards. With the departure of receivers Juwan Brescacin, Eric Rogers and DaVaris Daniels to Toronto, a steadfast Jorden would surely beryllium a boon for Calgary starter Bo Levi Mitchell.

Calgary Stampeders backmost Bo Levi Mitchell (19) passes the shot to Calgary Stampeders slotback Kamar Jorden (88) during a squad signifier successful Edmonton, Friday, November 23, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Derel Walker, WR, Edmonton

Walker, 30, is backmost with Edmonton aft registering 65 catches for 1,040 yards and six TDs successful 2019 with Toronto.

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READ MORE: American receiver Derel Walker returns to Edmonton 

The six-foot-two, 187-pound Walker began his CFL vocation successful Alberta successful 2015 and was named the league’s apical rookie. Walker was adjacent amended the pursuing play erstwhile helium registered vocation highs for receptions (109), yards (1,589) and TDs (10). Walker gives backmost Trevor Harris different apical people with Greg Ellingson (86 catches, 1,170 yards, six TDs successful 2019) and Armanti Edwards (69 catches, 1,014 yards, 7 TDs successful ’19 with Argos).

Derel Walker catches a touchdown walk against Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ Mariel Cooper, right, during the archetypal fractional of CFL shot enactment successful Hamilton, Ontario connected Thursday August 23, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

Cody Fajardo, QB, Saskatchewan

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The six-foot-two, 215-pound Fajardo was the CFL’s passing person successful 2019, his archetypal play arsenic Saskatchewan’s starter. The 29-year-old completed 338-of-473 passes (71.5 per cent) for 4,302 yards on with 18 TDs and 8 interceptions. He helped the Riders decorativeness atop the West Division standings with a 13-5 record. Not bad, considering helium started the twelvemonth arsenic a backup earlier being thrust into the starting lineup erstwhile seasoned Zach Collaros suffered a concussion successful the play opener.

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Zach Collaros, QB, Winnipeg

He began the ’19 play suffering a concussion successful Saskatchewan’s play opener but finished starring Winnipeg to its archetypal Grey Cup rubric since 1990. And successful between, Collaros was traded to Toronto, past Manitoba. The 32-year-old started the Bombers last 4 games — regular-season finale and each 3 successful the playoffs — posting a cleanable 4-0 record, capped by a 33-12 Grey Cup triumph implicit Hamilton. Collaros is the clearcut starter and Winnipeg won’t person Chris Streveler (NFL) oregon Matt Nichols (Ottawa) arsenic security against injury.

Andrew Harris, RB, Winnipeg

The Winnipeg autochthonal ended 2019 with a immense bang, rushing for 134 yards and scoring 2 TDs successful starring the Bombers to their archetypal Grey Cup rubric since 1990. Harris was besides named the crippled MVP and apical Canadian. But the 34-year-old moving missed astir of grooming campy owed to wounded and determination are questions regarding whether he’ll beryllium acceptable to commencement the season. He hasn’t missed a crippled owed to wounded the past 3 seasons and needs 962 yards to go the archetypal Canadian to scope 10,000 for his career.

Charleston Hughes, DE, Toronto

The six-foot-one, 246-pound Hughes begins his 13th CFL play with his 3rd squad aft signing with Toronto arsenic a escaped agent. A six-time league all-star, the 37-year-old has led the CFL successful sacks 5 times, including the erstwhile 4 seasons. He got to the backmost 16 times successful 2019 with Saskatchewan, helping the squad decorativeness atop the West Division and unafraid a berth successful the league final. Hughes begins the twelvemonth with 130 vocation sacks, leaving him seventh all-time.

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Nick Arbuckle, QB, Toronto

The 27-year-old signed with Toronto arsenic a escaped agent. He won four-of-seven games helium started with Calgary successful 2019 aft starter Bo Levi Mitchell was injured. Arbuckle finished 174-of-238 passing (73.1 per cent) for 2,103 yards, 11 TDs and conscionable 5 interceptions portion rushing for 76 yards and 4 touchdowns. He reunites with Argos caput manager Ryan Dinwiddie, who was Calgary’s backmost manager (2016-19). The Argos are coming disconnected consecutive 4-14 seasons (2018-19) since winning the ’17 Grey Cup.

Matt Nichols, QB, Ottawa

Nichols guided Winnipeg to a 6-2 grounds successful 2019 earlier suffering a season-ending enarthrosis injury. The Bombers acquired Collaros from Toronto and helium led the Bombers to their archetypal Grey Cup rubric since 1990. After being released by Winnipeg, Nichols signed with Toronto but ne'er played for the Argos owed to the COVID-19 pandemic and was released. The 34-year-old past signed with Ottawa, reuniting with caput manager Paul LaPolice, Winnipeg’s erstwhile violative coordinator. The Redblacks were a CFL-worst 3-15 successful 2019.

Brandon Banks, WR, Hamilton

Banks was the CFL’s apical subordinate successful 2019 — the archetypal Ticat to triumph the honour since Danny McManus successful 1998 — aft starring the league successful receiving with a club-record 112 catches for 1,550 yards and 13 TDs. He besides ran 13 times for 56 yards and a TD, returned 13 punts for 140 yards, and 5 missed tract goals for 283 yards (56.6-yard average) and 2 TDs. Banks has excelled with either Jeremiah Masoli oregon Dane Evans astatine backmost and the five-foot-seven 155-pound speedster is expected to again anchor Hamilton’s receiving corps.

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Hamilton Tiger-Cats Brandon Banks drops a walk during signifier for Sunday’s CFL Grey Cup shot crippled successful Calgary, Friday, Nov. 22, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

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