Ticats look to rest regulars in season-finale (though not Collaros)

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are expected to sit a number of high-profile players for the season finale against the Montreal Alouettes – though quarterback Zach Collaros may still get the start.

Saturday’s game will have no impact in the standings for either team. The Ticats (7-10) are locked into second place in the division and will host the East Semi-Final on Nov. 13. Montreal is 6-11 and out of playoff contention.

“We have a couple of guys that need to play and Zach’s one of them but we don’t want to put anybody at risk that’s valuable,” said head coach Kent Austin. “So it’s a tough balancing act.”

Among those who did not take first teams reps during Tuesday’s practice: linebackers Simoni Lawrence and Larry Dean, Canadian defensive tackles Ted Laurent and Mike Atkinson, running back C.J. Gable, defensive end Adrian Tracy, guard Ryan Bomben and safety Emanuel Davis.

They will be replaced by series of back ups – in many cases Canadian – as the team will use the game to take a look at some of its depth.

Collaros, however, worked with the first team offence – a strong indicator that he’ll start on Saturday. While there is an argument to protect their starting quarterback, Collaros has made just nine starts this season while recovering from knee surgery, then suffering a concussion last month.

There was also some good news on the injury front as several players returned to action. Veteran linebacker Keon Raymond, as well as a trio of Canadians – safety Courtney Stephen, running back Anthony Woodson and defensive tackle Evan Gill – all took part in practice on Monday. While it remains to be seen whether they’ll play Saturday, it bodes well for their return in time for the playoffs.

Another positive development: defensive back Derrius Brooks, who carted from the field during last Friday’s loss after colliding heavily with a teammate, participated in practice on Tuesday.

“On impact everything went dark, a little tingle in my shoulder, and pain down my back. Everybody wanted to take precautions because it involved the neck and the spine,” Brooks said. “It was a scary moment but I’m ready to roll..”

Not all the injury news is good, however. Defensive back Johnny Adams missed practice after suffering an injury against Edmonton He joins a long – and talented – list of Ticats on the sidelines.

Here is a partial injury list of notable names and their status:

Johnny Sears, defensive back: possible for East Semi-Final
Luke Tasker, receiver: possible for East Final (if the Ticats make it)
Rico Murray, defensive back: possible for East Final
Ross Scheuerman, running back: possible for East Final
Andy Fantuz, receiver: out for the season
Chad Owens, receiver: out for season
Demond Washington, defensive back: out for season
Jeremy Lewis, offensive lineman: out for season
Shane Herbert, Canadian defensive back: out for season
Jake Olson, offensive lineman: out for season

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