Despite throwing just 52 passes in his first CFL season, backup quarterback Chad Kelly came in clutch when the Argos needed him the most, leading his team to a Grey Cup victory. Head coach of the Argonauts, Ryan Dinwiddie, has gone on record saying he believes Kelly has what it takes to be the starting QB in the 23’ season.
Kelly was able to come off the bench in the fourth quarter of the 2022 CFL Grey Cup game and complete 4-6 passes for 43 yards. He was also instrumental in setting up the game-winning touchdown using his legs with a memorable 20-yard scramble. Leading the 24-23 upset over the two-time defending champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers will surely be a large feather in Kelly’s cap going forward.
Kelly entered the league at 28 years of age with plenty of hype behind him. His arrival came with an impressive resume but also a checkered past. After being dismissed from Clemson University for conduct detrimental to the team, he found success at the University of Mississippi, leading the team to a number of memorable wins.
With bucket loads of talent and physical ability Kelly was touted to go as a high round pick in the NFL but injuries and off-the-field concerns had him fall to the last pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. He went on to spend two seasons with the Denver Broncos and then a couple more with the Indianapolis Colts.
It wasn’t until 2022 that Kelly saw action in a CFL jersey, bouncing from the Elks to finally sign with the Argos. Unfortunately Kelly’s first year in the CFL wasn’t what he was hoping for. He only managed to earn the Argos backup quarterback spot behind McLeod Bethel-Thompson, starting just the final game of the season.
It should be noted that Kelly had a pretty solid game against the Montreal Alouettes, finishing with 23-of-35 passing for 264 yards, which included two touchdowns and one interception.
Like a Cinderella story, his luck changed however in the biggest game of the season as Bethel-Thompson suffered a dislocated thumb forcing Kelly into action. He was able to show his ability to hold his nerve under pressure and come up big when his team needed him the most.
There’s no doubt his name will be up in the conversation for starter but it is far from certain if his moment in the sun will land him the job. Much may come down to if Bethel-Thompson chooses to move on from football or is traded to another team.
If you’d like to keep up with the betting action next season be sure to check out our list of the top CFL betting sites in Ontario for legal wagering.