Cato might be the man in Montreal


Montreal Alouettes’ quarterback Rakeem Cato drops back to pass in last week’s win over the Calgary Stampeders.

MONTREAL — He’s 8-3 in his CFL career as a starting quarterback, but Jonathan Crompton isn’t guaranteed to get his job back when he returns from injury according to TSN 690’s Rick Moffat.

Crompton was sidelined after the first half of the Als’ season-opening loss to Ottawa in Week 1, subsequently placed on the six-game injured list with a shoulder injury. The saying usually goes that one shouldn’t lose their job in football as a result of an injury, but according to Moffat the Alouettes plan to go with the hot hand, whoever’s that may be.

The 27-year-old Crompton was considered a CFL journeyman before breaking out last year in his first season with Montreal, getting his first start mid-season and carrying the Als to within a game of an East Division title. The Alouettes were 1-7 when Crompton took over the reins from Troy Smith before engineering one of the most dramatic in-season turnarounds in CFL history, going 8-2 the rest of the way.

But while Crompton showed the potential to be the team’s first answer at quarterback since the departure of all-time leading passer Anthony Calvillo, Cato’s performance in a 29-11 win over Calgary last weekend may have opened the door for more competition. Cato, a Marshall University graduate, threw for 241 yards and three touchdown passes on 20-of-25 passing in a debut that won’t soon be forgotten.

“Very good start,” Head Coach Tom Higgins told MontrealAlouettes.com. “What we expected and anticipated was there. There are a lot of one-hit wonders out there and I’m sure this is not going to be the case.”

“He can improvise extremely well and I think that’s one of the strengths we’re going to find out. I truly believe he can get a lot better.”

Crompton went 5-of-17 in his first half of football in 2015, throwing for 51 yards and a touchdown along with an interception vs. Ottawa. Cato, meanwhile, just 23 years old, will look to build on a tremendous start to his career when the Als travel to Winnipeg to take on the Bombers on Friday night.

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