Calgary will employ a new look backfield in Hamilton.
Jerome Messam returns after getting fluid drained from his knee and missing the Stampeders 59-11 drubbing of Montreal. Rookie Terry Williams got his first CFL start in that game against the Alouettes and ran for 156 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries as the Stampeders appear to have found another offensive playmaker.
Roy Finch, who usually spells Messam, suffering from an ankle injury was left behind to heal in Calgary. That created another opportunity for Williams to play. With the main returner out for the Stampeders, expect Williams to see duty on kick-off returns and Canadian Tunde Adeleke on punt returns. The 2017 third-round pick from Carleton University has shown the ability to be dynamic with the football at the CFL level, returning two punts for touchdowns (71 and 51 yards) in his first pro season.
Back to Williams whose debut effort earned him the right to stay on the roster for Calgary’s Week 17 matchup in the Hammer, which will force the Ticats defence to prepare for both backs who bring different skill sets to the offence.
The CFL’s leading rusher (897 yards and nine touchdowns) got two weeks of rest with the bye included, Messam brings a tough, physical, downhill running style to the field while Williams provides explosion. The first-year CFLer had 20-, 28- and 45-yard rushes in his initial three-down outing. Three 20-plus-yard runs in one game compared to Messam’s four in 13 outings illustrate the difference between the two. So does their size, Messam six-foot-three, 255 pounds and Williams five-foot-nine, 204 pounds. The Canuck back is the pounder and the Kutztown University product the slicer, each possesses dynamic abilities.