Hamilton Tiger-Cats running back Alex Green ran for 140 yards on 14 carries in last Friday’s win over the B.C. Lions. On Saturday, he could be watching from the sidelines in street clothes.
Head coach June Jones has to decide whether to stick with Green or go back to veteran C.J. Gable who started eight consecutive games before missing the trip to Vancouver with a shoulder injury. The two have split reps in practice this week with Gable taking a few extra during the final on-field session on Thursday.
“It’s a tough decision because both guys are pretty good football players,” Jones said.
Jones said he wanted to discuss the matter with his assistants and the players involved before making a final call. The 46-man game day roster will be announced on Friday.
One option that’s not on the table: playing both. With just 20 American players on the roster (not including quarterbacks) suiting up a second American running back would be difficult, given the myriad of issues involved.
“There is a scenario, but not this week because of the injuries and some of the ratio stuff,” Jones said. “Down the line, yes it could happen.”
Gable has made 50 starts over his five-year CFL career while Green has played in just one, albeit spectacular, game. Like many coaches, Jones is reluctant to take a starting job from an experienced player but has to balance that against the must-win nature of Saturday’s matchup against Toronto: a loss by the Ticats would be devastating to their suddenly resurgent playoff aspirations.
“We’re trying to do what’s best for the team this week and that’s what it will be based on,” Jones said.