The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are back on the practice field for the first time since destroying the Montreal Alouettes last Friday. Here’s what we know…
• it’s 29 feels like 37 in Hamilton and the playing surface at Tim Hortons Field is even hotter. Yet somehow quarterback Jeremiah Masoli is wearing a black long sleeve hoodie under his gold practice jersey….
• there are some injuries to report. Defensive end Adrian Tracy, Canadian defensive linemen Justin Vaughn and Connor McGough, national linebacker Nick Shortill are all not practicing. Neither is return man and reserve defensive back Frankie Williams.
• it looks like Vaughn, who was injured late in the win on Friday, will be out for awhile: the team put him on the six-game injured list and activated 2018 draft pick Brett Wade.
• to make up for the absence of Shortill, the Ticats signed national linebacker Dillon Grondin to the practice roster. He played 15 games for Saskatchewan from 2016 to 2017 making one defensive tackle and six special teams tackles.
• losing quality Canadians is always tough because they are essentially impossible to replace. Vaughn is a valuable depth piece behind Ted Laurent while Shortill and McGough are big special teams contributors.
• if Tracy can’t go, look for Julian Howsare to get the start at end (12 tackles and one sack in six games this season.)
• if Williams is out, punt return duties could be handled by Brandon Banks or Chris Williams, both former winners of the CFL’s Most Outstanding Special Teams Player award who are now primarily receivers. Jalen Saunders returned punts in the NFL. In other words, lots of options.
• meanwhile in Winnipeg, where the Ticats will play on Friday…
Back at it on the holiday Monday as the #Bombers prep for Friday vs the #TiCats. The good; Fenner (3 games), Gaitor (5), Flanders (7), and Ross (6) are back. The bad; Moe Leggett is a spectator today following the bye week. pic.twitter.com/mToZyOi57f
— Darrin Bauming (@DarrinBauming) August 6, 2018