LIVESTREAM PPV: CFL – Ottawa REDBLACKS @Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Friday, July 19, 7:30p (8:30p EDT, 2:30a July 20 CEDT)

WINNIPEG — A new starter will be behind centre for the Ottawa REDBLACKS Friday night as the team looks to end a two-game slide.

Quarterback Jonathon Jennings will get the start for Ottawa as the REDBLACKS will face off against the undefeated Winnipeg Blue Bombers at IG Field in Winnipeg Friday night.

Jennings, 26, was acquired by Ottawa in the off-season after spending the last four seasons with the BC Lions. Through 72 career Canadian Football League games, Jennings has thrown 66 touchdowns and thrown 12,497 career passing yards.

“I’ve waited a long time for this, it seems like,” Jennings said. “Really excited to get an opportunity to get on the field and work with these guys. I think we’ve got a good group of guys. Good coaching staff. Ready to go out there and show what I got.”

“He’s athletic. He throws really well,” REDBLACKS head coach Rick Campbell said. “I like his demeanour. He’s got a calm demeanour about him. What I mean is that he can keep his head about him when the bullets are flying.”

» Depth Charts: OTT | WPG

Jennings will fill in for Dominique Davis, who began the season as the REDBLACKS’ primary starter at quarterback. Campbell says Davis won’t play due to injury.

“He’s not well enough to play,” Campbell said. “We don’t think it’s overly serious, we expect him back sooner than later. But he’s not going to be able to start this week.”

Meanwhile, the Bombers are pushing for a 5-0 record. It would be their first time doing so since 1960, when John Diefenbaker was Prime Minister and the original soundtrack from the movie “The Sound of Music” was the best-selling album that year. The Bombers also won the first 10 games of the season that year.

Bombers quarterback Matt Nichols says he and his team are focused on their task at hand.

“Our goals are the same every week,” Nichols said. The pivot has thrown 10 touchdowns this season. “Take care of the football, score points, stay on the field, put drives together. Nothing changes week-to-week for us, so it’s just to hold that same standard every week and play four complete quarters.”

The Bombers remain undefeated despite the absence of linebacker Adam Bighill, the league’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player last year. He’s missed the last two games due to injury. Bighill is listed as the team’s starting middle linebacker for Friday’s contest, but is expected to be a game-time decision for a second straight week.

“We’re in good shape, especially considering we’ve missed the defensive player of the year for two games,” said safety Jeff Hecht. “Any time you lose your best defensive asset and you’re still 4-0 it’s a testament to management and the coaches for getting guys ready.

“It’s also a testament for the young guys being ready and not being overwhelmed by the moment.”

Receiver and returner Charles Nelson and linebacker Jesse Briggs will also miss Friday’s contest. Both Nelson and Briggs are on the six-game injured list. Linebacker Dale Warren, defensive back Dondre Wright, and receiver Kenneth Walker will dress in their place.

Lucky Whitehead is expected to play despite missing practice time this week, but the same can’t be said for Chris Matthews, who did practise but will miss a second consecutive contest.

With Nelson out, Walker is confident in his kick returning abilities if his number is called Friday night, and hopes people notice a significant attribute in his game.

“Speed,” Walker said. “That’s all there is, is speed. You’ll see the rest when the game comes.”

The REDBLACKS, meanwhile, will also be without a trio of starters Friday. Receiver R.J. Harris, safety Antoine Pruneau, and running back Morris Madu are not listed on the team’s depth chart, as well as linebacker Nicolas Boulay, receiver Seth Coate, and defensive linemen Sam Montgomery and Jonathan Newsome.

John Crockett will get the start for the REDBLACKS at running back a week after rushing for 62 yards vs. Montreal.

BY THE NUMBERS

61 — Ottawa REDBLACKS kicker Lewis Ward continues to be “Mr. Automatic” for his team. He’s kicked 61 consecutive field goals and his streak is 22 kicks longer than the next-best consecutive field goals made streak.

5-1 — The all-time record in matchups featuring Matt Nichols and Jonathon Jennings favours the Bombers signal caller. But Jennings has thrown more yards (1,901) than Nichols (1,077) in their matchups, and he’s also thrown more touchdowns (11) and interceptions (12) compared to Nichols (five touchdowns, and two interceptions).

7 — Through their first four games of the season, the Bombers have allowed only seven points in the first quarter. It’s their best first quarter defensive performance since 1991.

126.0 — Nichols is on pace for a 126.0 quarterback rating this season, which is close to Ricky Ray’s record 126.4 set in 2013.

– With files from OttawaREDBLACKS.com/BlueBombers.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: CFL – Ottawa REDBLACKS @Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Friday, July 19, 7:30p (8:30p EDT, 2:30a July 20 CEDT)

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