We’re happy to announce that All Habs will broaden it’s scope to include all Montreal professional sports. Joey Alfieri will be covering the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Impact for us, as well as chiming in on the Canadiens. Joey welcomes your comments on his first Alouettes piece for All Habs.
MONTREAL, QC. — Sunday’s win against Saskatchewan was a costly one for the Alouettes. The team lost the services of two key players, as receiver Brian Bratton hyperextended his knee and running back Brandon Whitaker tore his anterior cruciate ligament.
Als general manager Jim Popp announced that Whitaker will have surgery on his knee and will miss the remainder of the season. The news was just slightly better for Bratton, who will miss “several weeks” according to Popp.
The loss of Whitaker will be difficult to overcome for the Als. The 2011 CFL rushing king was having another fine season before going down in the fourth quarter on Sunday.
“I caught the ball across the middle, and was making a cut to the left,” said the 27-year old Whitaker. “As soon as I planted, my knee just kind of gave out and buckled.”
The question now becomes, where do the Als go from here?
The smart thing to do would be to give backup running back Victor Anderson a chance to carry the load for the rest of the season. Anderson, who is in his first year in the CFL, has started one game for Montreal and looked very good in the process racking up 102 yards on 18 carries in Edmonton on August 17th.
“Brandon (Whitaker) is a great running back,” said Anderson. “We just have to continue to push and play strong for Brandon.”
Coach Trestman has always stressed that in his system, a running back is a blocker first. If Anderson proves that he can keep Calvillo standing, he should have no trouble keeping the job for the rest of the season.
The Alouettes have seven games remaining as they come down the stretch. They are currently first in the Eastern Division but only lead Toronto by two points.
The Argonaut will be in town Sunday afternoon in a huge clash that will either see Toronto climb back a top the division or Montreal take a four point lead in the standings.
For the Als to come out on top, they will certainly need help from their rookie tailback. Toronto’s defence has been difficult to score on this season, and the key to victory for Montreal will be to have a balanced attack.
NOTES: Jim Popp mentioned on Tuesday that we should be expecting some new faces in the Als locker room very soon. He didn’t want to reveal the names of the new acquisitions before they passed their physicals.
Finally some good news on the injury front, it looks as though wide receiver Brandon London will make his return to the line-up on Sunday. London has missed the last three games with a knee injury.