Preview: Alouettes to finish regular season against Tiger-Cats

The Montreal Alouettes (10-7) will finish their regular season with a home game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (8-9) on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET (RDS, TSN, 98.5fm, CJAD 800). These two teams will face off again, in Montreal, in the East Division Semi-Final next Saturday.

Quarterback situation:

Since the outcome of this game won’t affect the standings, the Alouettes will take the opportunity to play their younger quarterbacks. According to head coach Jason Maas, starter Cody Fajardo should play roughly one quarter on Saturday. Caleb Evans, who won both of his starts this year, and Davis Alexander will also get onto the field.

Alexander is in his second year with the Als. He saw some playing time in last year’s regular-season finale in Toronto, and he also got some limited reps during the game in Winnipeg back in late August.

“He’s shown a lot of growth,” Maas said of Alexander. “He’s a hard worker, he’s determined, and he’s ready to play. I have enjoyed his company and I’ve enjoyed the work ethic he’s displayed during the off-season through training camp. He’s always prepared mentally and physically. He gives everything every single day. I’m looking forward to seeing him play and getting an opportunity there because he deserves that. He’s been very good for us behind the scenes, and I’m very proud of him for that.”

No rest for the starters:

Don’t expect many starters to be rested for this game. The salary cap doesn’t allow teams to sit a bunch of starters in preparation for the playoffs. The fact that the team had a bye week also doesn’t make it easy to rest starters.

No player wants to be off for two full weeks before taking the field in the playoffs, so each person on the roster will need to play and contribute.

“When it’s a game that doesn’t mean much in the standings, you want to be healthy coming out of it, but you can’t play football scared and you can’t worry about football,” Maas said. “You play every single play like it’s your last, in my opinion. You go out there to win on every single play. You have to do your job and you have to believe that the guy next to you is going to do the same.”

A win on Saturday would allow the Alouettes to reach the 11-win mark for the first time since the 2012 season when they went 11-7 under Marc Trestman.

Key players return:

The Alouettes will get some reinforcements ahead of this game, as running back Will Stanback (illness), Linebackers Avery Williams (hip) and Tyrell Richards (lower body), and kicker David Cote (hip) will be returning to the lineup. Offensive tackle Landon Rice will also suit up. He’s listed as the backup to right tackle Jamar McGloster.

“It’s important to get into a rhythm before the start of the playoffs,” Cote said. “It’ll be nice to get one game to get everything in order. I haven’t played in three weeks if you count the bye week. It’ll be fun.”