So with the trade of defensive back Abdul Kanneh and the final roster cuts, it should be theoretically possible to construct a depth chart for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, here goes…
1. There are still a whopping 55 names on the active roster which means nine players will have to be put on the injured list or otherwise be dealt with. That seems like a lot.
2. I’ve listed Wilkerson over Toliver at receiver only because Terrence has yet to play in a pre-season or do much by the way of team work in practice. But if he’s healthy, he likely starts. Either way, I like the Ticats receiving corps, though the injury to Shamawd Chambers and the release of Jacob Scarfone mean playing two Canadians is out of the question. If Rob Bagg, recently released from the Riders and Kingston native, is interested in still playing…
3. The Ticats held on to their entire stockpile of nine Canadian offensive linemen even though I think they’ll only start three. Two more will be reserves and the rest will be stashed away in Eric Tillman’s closet.
4. The Ticats defensive line looks pretty good, though Justin Vaughn getting hurt against Montreal exposes a weak spot in terms of Canadian depth: not much behind Ted Laurent if he gets injured as well. Draft pick Brett Wade is on the practice roster but can’t be counted on to be a contributor this early in his career.
5. It could be either Mariel Cooper or Don Unamba at the SAM, if they are healthy, or it could be Randall Evans if they aren’t. SAM was a question mark coming into camp and it’s still a question mark going into week one.
6. The departure of Kanneh muddies the secondary a little as he was a projected starter up until very recently. Courtney Stephen will be the safety and Richard Leonard will be the field halfback and the rest is just educated guesswork. Or just guesswork.
7. Jason Neill could be the starting American defensive tackle after his big boy performance against Montreal but Bobby Richardson could be the guy. Consider that a question mark as well but with two good answers.
8. The Ticats still have some ratio flexibility but the injuries to Chambers and, maybe, Vaughn hurt. Hamilton could still start a Canadian at running back – the Mercer Timmis stiff-arm was my favourite play of the pre-season – and could roll the dice with four nationals on the offensive line. Nick Shortill or Terrell Davis could probably start at linebacker but taking Simoni Lawrence or Larry Dean off the field is a high price to pay.
9. Quarterback Vernon Adams is still on the roster. Head coach June Jones said on Saturday that Adams’ agent was still trying to work out a deal for him and the Ticats are likely trying to get something for him…
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