TORONTO — There was drama over the status of Ottawa quarterback Henry Burris immediately prior to Sunday's Grey Cup.
The 41-year-old Redblack, who appeared to be wearing a brace on his left leg, left the warmup early and headed back to the dressing room at BMO Field. He did not come out with the rest of the Redblacks during Ottawa and Calgary Stampeder introductions.
Trevor Harris, who split the starting job with Burris this season, and third-stringer Danny O'Brien threw on the sideline ahead of kickoff.
"We'll see if he's available but we have two proven winners here for a reason," Ottawa coach Rick Campbell said of Burris in an interview with TSN immediately prior to the game.
Campbell said they were checking to see if Burris would be available later.
But Burris was back out on the field throwing with the other quarterbacks after the national anthem. And he led the Redblacks offence out after the Stampeders punted the ball away.
Helped by a coach's challenge that kept the first Ottawa drive going, Burris scored the game's first touchdown on a one-yard rush.
The 17-year CFL veteran was limited to just eight regular-season appearances after breaking his pinky finger in the season opener.
He was 4-3 as the Redblacks' No. 1 quarterback but closed strongly, throwing for 300-plus yards in his last three regular-season starts. He threw for 246 yards and two TDs in snowy conditions in the Eastern Final win over Edmonton.
Burris, named the league's Most Outstanding Player in 2015, won the CFL championship as a Stampeder in 2008 when he was named Grey Cup MVP after throwing for 328 yards and running for 79 more in Calgary's 22-14 win over Montreal at Olympic Stadium.
He earned another Grey Cup ring with Calgary in 1998 as a backup to Jeff Garcia.