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Canadian QB Bridge pressed into action as veterans Crompton, LeFevour injured

06/26/2015 12:32 EDT | Updated 06/25/2016 05:59 EDT
MONTREAL - Montreal Alouettes rookie Brandon Bridge didn't have to wait long for his first Canadian Football League action.

The 23-year-old was sent in as quarterback in his first CFL game after starter Jonathan Crompton and backup Dan LeFevour suffered shoulder injuries in a season-opening 20-16 loss to the Ottawa Redblacks on Thursday night.

Bridge thought his only job would be holding the ball on field goals and converts. Now the Mississauga, Ont. native, who became the first Canadian quarterback to play in a game for Montreal since Gerry Datillio in 1985, may be in for more playing time than he anticipated.

"I've been preparing for it," said Bridge. "I did a lot of mental reps this week.

"I knew where everything had to go."

Bridge went 5 for 10 for 62 yards. His first pass was tipped for an incompletion, but S.J. Green reached back to haul in his second attempt and Montreal got a field goal on his first drive.

"He went out and accounted for himself very well," said coach Tom Higgins. "He's a young man with a tremendous skill set.

"I don't know if he's ready yet, but if called upon, we'll get him ready as best we can to execute our offence."

Higgins said Crompton bruised his right (throwing) shoulder and that LeFevour injured his left (non-throwing) shoulder. Both will be evaluated this week to see if they will be ready to play when the defending Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders visit next Thursday.

He said Crompton could have returned to the game but, in the first week of the season, they didn't want to risk aggravating the injury.

The Alouettes already had third string QB Tanner Marsh on the six-game injured list.

Asked if there was a chance Bridge will start the next game, Higgins said: "Well, he's the next man in line. We're in a spot that, all of a sudden (fifth stringer) Rekeem Cato might find himself the second quarterback.

"We hope that's not the case, but only time will tell."

The Alouettes drafted Bridge in the fourth round this year from South Alabama. Unlike other Canadian quarterbacks who are switched to other positions, general manager Jim Popp said from the outset that Bridge would be brought along as a quarterback.

"Hopefully this week I can watch some tape, get better and prepare," said the six-foot-four Bridge. "I don't know what will happen next week but I'll treat every week as if I'm the starter and just go out there and do well."

He said his family was unable to make it to his first game, but he said: "I'm sure they're excited. I'm sure there's a text message from my brother saying 'you shouldn't have thrown that interception.' But it'll be all right."

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