Hamilton Tiger-Cats head coach June Jones said Tuesday that Canadian receiver Andy Fantuz won’t be ready for this week’s match up against the Saskatchewan Roughriders and is still awaiting final medical clearance on his injured knee.
“I think after Sept. 18 is when they are going to clear him,” Jones said. “He still has to sign a contract so that has to happen, too.”
Jones had indicated last week that Fantuz could return as early as Friday against the Riders.
The 33-year-old Fantuz has been serving as a Ticat assistant coach while recovering from a torn ACL suffered last October. He had 101 receptions through 17 games in 2016 and had reached the 1,000-yard mark (1,059) for just the second time in his 11-year career.
The Ticats could use the help. The team is down to just two healthy Canadian receivers, including Mitchell Baines who signed last week. But with Felix Flaubert-Lussier going down with a lower body injury in last Saturday’s win over Ottawa – not to mention the loss of several other Canadians – Baines may be forced into a starting role against the Riders. Flaubert-Lussier didn’t practice on Tuesday though Jones said he could still suit up.
“The players are playing through injuries, a lot of guys are beat up and it’s a short week,” Jones said.