Following their loss last night in the pre-season finale against the Ottawa RedBlacks, the Montreal Alouettes needed to cut their roster down for their season opener next week.
The Alouettes released 17 players, the most notable being veteran receiver Jamel Richardson. Richardson is still recovering from surgery from a leg injury last season. He was expected to return to a receiving corps that includes Chad Johnson, Duron Carter and S.J. Green. The emergence of Brandon London and Kenny Stafford might have allowed the Alouettes to go forward without the veteran receiver.
Richardson did not take part in training camp.
Other notable players released included linebacker Diamond Ferri and defensive lineman Scooter Berry who had been injured through all of training camp. Cornerback Ed Gainey, who was in his second year with the Alouettes and listed as a starter on the depth chart and receiver/kick returner Tyron Carrier who was in his third year in the league were also among veterans cut.
The other players released were kicker Delbert Alvarado, offensive tackle Daniel Baldridge, offensive lineman Ryan Cave, receiver Preston Cleckley, cornerback Brandon Driver, defensive back Dominique Ellis, receiver Brandan Green, offensive lineman Mike Golic and offensive lineman Wayne Tribue.
Robert Godhigh, a running back who was added back to the roster to add some depth to the position with Tyrell Sutton injured and Brandon Whitaker sitting out was also released. Godhigh was initially released after the first pre-season game.
The Alouettes had to make their cuts by 10 p.m. Eastern like the other eight teams in the league. They also announced their nine-man practice roster.
The players added to the practice roster were kicker Nick Boyd, defensive end Brian Brikowski, receiver Mardy Gilyard, defensive back Jamahl Knowles, running back Brandon Rutley, offensive lineman Jake Piotrowski, receiver Andrew Smith, linebacker James Tuck and linebacker/defensive back Winston Venable.
The team also added players to the injured list. Sutton, defensive tackle Jeffery Finley and linebacker Jonathan Beaulieu-Richard were added to the six-game injured list. Defensive lineman Ameet Pall and receiver Kyle Graves were added to the one-game injured list.
In yesterday’s pre-season game, it was the first look we got of Chad Johnson in a CFL game and he made a catch on the team’s first offensive play. It was the only catch he made, and he said that he had a lot of work to do. It was his first game in over a year and he is getting ready for his first regular season action in over two years.
Troy Smith looked rusty in his first actual game action of the season after missing the first pre-season game but that is something that will continue to improve as the season moves along. Especially as they get used to the new offensive coaching staff. He looked better as the game went on.
The Alouettes open their season Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. Eastern in Calgary as they take on the Stampeders.