Ticats Andy Fantuz out for the year with torn ACL: sources

Hamilton Tiger-Cats receiver Andy Fantuz has a suspected torn ACL in his left knee and is expected to miss the remainder of the 2016 season, according to multiple sources.

Fantuz was hurt on innocent-looking play with just under 10 minutes to play in the second quarter of the Ticats’ 29-26 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos on Friday night, his left knee buckling as he went to make a cut. Ticat medical staff assessed the injury, which is expected to be confirmed via an MRI sometime next week.

The news is a huge blow to the Ticats’ already injury-riddled season. Fantuz is the team’s leading receiver with a club record 101 catches for 1,059 yards coming in to Friday’s game, good enough to 10th in the CFL. He was among the best of the team’s seven Canadian starters – along with defensive tackle Ted Laurent – making him essentially irreplaceable. The team will likely have to make a ratio change elsewhere, possible by starting four national offensive lineman, while hoping to some replicate Fantuz’s offensive production with an American replacement at receiver.

The injury is also devastating to Fantuz personally. He signed a one-year contract to rejoin the Ticats last February and will be a free agent again this winter. He turns 33 in December and will likely struggle to find a team willing to invest in a player facing a long and uncertain rehab – ACL tears generally take between eight and 12 months to heal – and will be unlikely to contribute much during the 2017 season.

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