It was a giant step for two Montreal university football players – Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and David Foucault – to make the jump to the 53-man rosters of NFL teams.
However, they will need to wait a little longer to make their NFL debuts as both were inactive yesterday for their team’s games. NFL teams have a 53-man roster but only 46 of them are active for game action.
Both the Kansas City Chiefs and Carolina Panthers made their Canadian offensive linemen – Duvernay-Tardif and Foucault respectively – inactive. It is a testament to both of their potentials that they have made it this far and as they practice more every week it will only be a matter of time until they dress.
Foucault, more so than Duvernay-Tardif, was a surprising addition to the Panthers roster. He had been struggling in his pre-season action and was an un-drafted free-agent compared to the McGill product who was a sixth-round pick. He was even considered raw by Canadian Football League standards when the Montreal Alouettes made him their first pick.
Foucault went through a rookie camp just to get a contract offer and used that to make his way on the team.
Duvernay-Tardif was always pegged to be on the Chiefs roster. He went from third string to second string during the pre-season before making the roster.
Foucault and Duvernay-Tardif are part of a record six Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) players to make an opening day NFL roster. Another six CIS players were recently released by NFL teams. If nothing else this has proven that you can play in the CIS and make the jump to the NFL. People are watching.
Previously, the only chance that Canadian players had to make the NFL was to go the NCAA route. Foucault and Duvernay-Tardif blew that out of the water and didn’t even need to make a stop in the CFL first.
The other CIS grads on NFL rosters are DT Stefan Charles (CIS: Regina/NFL: Buffalo), DE Akiem Hicks (Regina/New Orleans), LB Henoc Muamba (StFX/Indianapolis) and P Jon Ryan (Regina/Seattle).
Of those, only Muamba was inactive for the opener. He is also the only first year player of that group along with Duvernay-Tardif and Foucault. Muamba had been in the CFL where he was the first overall pick.