The Hamilton Tiger-Cats injury situation isn’t as bad as first reported.
The Ticats will scratch two more starters before Saturday’s game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders: receiver Terrence Toliver and strong side linebacker Rico Murray.
Toliver joins Chad Owens and Luke Tasker on the sidelines, meaning that Hamilton will be without their top three receivers in terms of yardage and catches. The trio have accounted for 175 catches (55 per cent of the team’s total) and 2,399 yards (60 per cent.)
With Toliver down as well, look for Brandon Banks to see more time at receiver and the Ticats to use sets that include three Canadian wide receivers (Andy Fantuz, Spencer Watt and rookie Mike Jones.)
But the loss of Murray – who was hurt late in Thursday’s practice – could be even more impactful. Not only is he sixth on the team in tackles but he plays a difficult hybrid position for which the Ticats do not have an experienced replacement.
The most likely scenario will see halfback Dominique Ellis moving to the strong side linebacker spot and the insertion of Travis Lee into the starting line up. Ellis has never played the SAM spot and it means the Ticats will be lining up with a personnel grouping that did not take a single snap of practice together this week.