LIVESTREAM PPV: CFL – Montreal Alouettes @BC Lions, Sat. Sept. 28, 7p (10p EDT, 4a Sept.29 CEDT)

VANCOUVER — With their starting quarterback watching from the sidelines, the Montreal Alouettes are looking to inch closer to a playoff spot when they take on the BC Lions at BC Place Saturday evening.

Vernon Adams Jr. is serving his one-game suspension following an incident in the team’s Week 15 victory. Instead of appealing the suspension, Adams will miss Saturday’s game against the Lions and return to take on the Calgary Stampeders next week.

Alouettes backup Matthew Shiltz is slated to make his second career start in place of Adams. Over his three seasons in Montreal, Shiltz has completed 61 per cent of his passes for 686 yards, 107 of which have come in 2019.

“His pocket presence has improved,” Alouettes head coach Khari Jones told MontrealAlouettes.com. “I think he might have been a little quick to get out of it sometimes. Now, he’s staying in there, trusting himself and trusting the reads. That comes with time and practice. He sees things more and more and has gotten more comfortable with what we’re doing. It will be fun to see.”

» Depth Charts: MTL | BC

The main issue for Shiltz over his CFL career has been ball security – he’s thrown seven interceptions to just two touchdown passes. The 26-year-old graduate of Butler University has never thrown a pass against the Lions.

In his second career start, Shiltz will be facing the league’s active leader in passing yards. Mike Reilly has the unfortunate honour of being the last Week 1 starting quarterback standing in the CFL. This is despite getting punished earlier in the season.

The knock on BC through the first half of the year was the poor play of the offensive line. Reilly was sacked 43 times through the first 10 games and was on pace to absorb the most sacks in a single season in recent memory.

However, with the addition of offensive line coach Kelly Bates, the line has significantly improved, allowing just three sacks over the last three contests. Running back John White is coming off an 80-yard rushing performance in a win over Ottawa and, before that, Brandon Rutley broke the century mark.

Thanks to his being able to stay healthy, Reilly is 400 yards shy of passing Trevor Harris for the passing yards lead this season. Harris was moved to the six-game injured list by Edmonton this week, so it seems like Reilly is in good shape to take over atop the ranking.

BC enjoyed back-to-back dominant wins over the Ottawa REDBLACKS during the past two weeks, outscoring Ottawa 69-12. Reilly was able to get a variety of different receivers involved, while the Lions defence forced seven turnovers.

“They’re starting to share the load a little bit,” Lions receivers coach Markus Howell told BCLions.com. “Shaq Johnson had a big game and helped us get the ball rolling in Ottawa, Lemar helped us in the run game and caught a lot of jet sweeps . . . and then Duron got in the end zone and helped us on the big throw down the field. They’re sharing the load and they’re making plays, which is helping us.”

Even with their stretch of good play, the Lions can be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention should they lose and the Eskimos beat the REDBLACKS Saturday afternoon in Ottawa.

“There’s no point bringing up the record from the past,” receiver Lemar Durant said. “It is what it is. We just have to keep getting better this week. We come out to practice looking at nothing except for the opponent we have right now. This week it’s Montreal. The only goal is to beat them and, hopefully, other things will just work themselves out.”

As for the Als, they are coming off the biggest comeback in franchise history, erasing a 24-point deficit against the Bombers. Montreal boasts one of the league’s most formidable receiving corps, with DeVier PoseyEugene Lewis and Quan Bray proving to be dependable targets.

Rookie Jake Wieneke played hero last week in a breakout performance. Entering the contest, the 25-year-old from Maple Grove, Minn., had never caught more than three balls in a game, but exploded for eight receptions, 134 yards and the late, game-winning touchdown.

The most remarkable performance belonged to the Montreal defence, though. After giving up 34 points in the opening half, they conceded a lone field goal in the second half. They’ll be looking for a similar performance Saturday on the west coast.

BY THE NUMBERS

4 – Straight seasons with 1,000 yards receiving for Bryan Burnham. The last Lion to accomplish that feat was Geroy Simon.

131 – Career sacks for John Bowman. He passed Vince Goldsmith (130.5) for sole possession of sixth all-time.

93.3 – Field goal percentage for Sergio Castillo, the highest in the CFL this season.

521 – Receiving yards for DeVier Posey over the last five games.

– With files from MontrealAlouettes.com and BCLions.com

AFI, Yare Media and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Yare Media and the Canadian Football League to present 2019 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

LIVE STREAM PPV: CFL – Montreal Alouettes @BC Lions, Sat. Sept. 28, 7p (10p EDT, 4a Sept.29 CEDT)

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