The Hamilton Tiger-Cats aren’t just changing quarterbacks, they’ve decided to go in a different direction at running back, too.
The team will start American Michael Ford against the Calgary Stampeders, replacing Ray Holley. Ford played three games earlier this season, registering 37 rushing yards on seven carries, but was released on Aug. 1. He joined the Atlanta Falcons but was released Aug. 30.
The 25-year-old was re-signed by the Ticats on Sunday and took first team reps with the offence this week.
Despite having the top-scoring offence in the CFL, the Ticats have struggled to find a consistent running game this season. They are averaging just 76.3 yards per game – only Toronto is worse. The absence of C.J. Gable, a former CFL East Division Most Outstanding Rookie who has played in just two games this season, certainly hasn’t helped.
At 5-foot-10, 216 pounds, Ford is a big body who can run inside and should be able help in pass protection. That could be key, especially with the Ticats’ rookie Jeff Mathews making his first start in place of the injured Zach Collaros – and a rash of injuries along the offensive line.
Though it has yet to be officially announced, the team looks to have released American running back Nic Grigsby for the second time this season. “Want to wish my teammates nothing but the best going forward! Thanks to the city of Hamilton fans nothing but support!” Grigsby said via his Twitter account, @Nic_Grigsby5.
Grigsby, who started in the Grey Cup game last year, played in three contests this season, registering 59 yards on 10 carries.