June 5, 2024

Preview: MTL @ WPG – Week 1

The off-season is in the rearview mirror, training is a thing of the past, and we’re now ready for regular season football. The Alouettes will kick-off their 2024 campaign at Princess Auto Field in Winnipeg on Thursday night at 8:30 pm ET (RDS, TSN, 98.5 FM, TSN 690)

This is a rematch of last year’s Grey Cup game in Hamilton which the Alouettes won, 28-24.

Here’s what you need to know heading into this game:

Rambo’s first opportunity to shine:

Yes, many will see this as the two finalists going head-to-head again, but the reality is that both teams have undergone some changes since last November. One of those new faces in the Montreal lineup will be receiver Charleston Rambo, who impressed throughout training camp.

The Als were so comfortable with the 24-year-old that they decided to give him the starting role over veteran receiver Tevin Jones.

“It means a lot,” Rambo said when he was asked about making the team. “I put my best foot forward in front of these guys and they did the same for me. Just coming out here and doing my thing, it was great. I made a lot of plays, and not many plays were made on me by opposing defensive backs.”

Rambo made at least one outstanding catch in the intra-squad match and two preseason games. He’s shown a level of explosiveness that is rare, and he has an ability to make big plays down the field.

“He forced our hand with the three weeks he had in training camp and the two preseason games,” general manager Danny Maciocia said after Sunday’s practice. “He adjusted to the three-down game very quickly. He knows exactly what he’s doing on offence, and he impressed us with his ability to stretch the field, like the catch he made in the intra-squad game, and the final pre-season game against Ottawa. He’s a good fit with us and he should be able to contribute to our success.”

Walter Fletcher’s time:

Running back Walter Fletcher has patiently waited for his opportunity to lead the Alouettes backfield. He’s made starts for them over the last two years, but he hasn’t been the feature guy week in and week out until now.

The Alouettes will likely use three different running backs in each game if you consider Canadians Jeshrun Antwi and Sean Thomas Erlington too. But don’t be surprised if Fletcher is the one who leads the backfield in touches. Handling a heavy workload isn’t something that worries the Als tailback.

“In college, I had 33 carries in a game,” Fletcher said. “In the CFL, during my rookie year in Edmonton, I had like 19 or 20. I was used to that in college because I was the number one back. I averaged about 24 or 25 carries per game. I’m used to the workload. The mental side is also about being in shape. For me, it’s just about staying in the film room, staying in the weight room and being able to carry that load. Being available is important too. Coach Maas likes availability.”

The 27-year-old averaged 5.7 yards per carry on 85 rushing attempts during the 2022 season when William Stanback was out with a lower-body injury. Fletcher suited up in just seven contests in 2023.


The Alouettes will be missing some key bodies in Week 1. On defence, they’ll be without defensive tackle Dylan Wynn, defensive back Wesley Sutton, and defensive lineman Brock Gowanlock and safety Arthur Hamlin. Sutton was the Alouettes’ most consistent defensive back last season and was named an East Division All-Star.

On offence, the squad will be without starting right tackle Jamar McGloster, Canadian receiver Shedler Fervius, Reggie White Jr. and offensive lineman Jesse Gibbon.

For Alouettes fans who want to experience the action live in Winnipeg, Redtag is offering discounts on flights to Winnipeg. Check out their offers here.