We (almost) witnessed a blast from the past this weekend.
According to the Toronto Argonauts’ website, the club added Chad Kackert to their practice roster following a week fourteen bye.
The move caught my attention while doing one of my routine check-ups on rosters around the league. Kackert is 32 and hasn’t played a down since 2015; as strange as the move seemed at first, we’ve seen Kackert make an unexpected return to the CFL on multiple occasions before.
Kackert appeared in 24 games with the Boatmen over three seasons from 2011 to 2013, recording 228 carries for 1,467 yards and 13 touchdowns. His original tenure in Toronto was highlighted by a 195-yard (133 rushing and 62 receiving) performance in the 2012 Grey Cup that earned him the game’s M.V.P. award.
Suffering a broken ankle in the 2013 Eastern Semi-Final, Kackert retired from professional just prior to the start of the 2014 season. The New Hampshire product served as the club’s strength and conditioning coach that year until late September when he joined the team’s practice roster. Kackert would return to his role on Toronto’s coaching staff three weeks later after suffering a season-ending hamstring injury.
Kackert came out of retirement for a second time in 2015 when he was added to the Argos’ practice roster in late June. He would appear in seven games, recording 39 carries for 235 yards. After spending the entire 2016 season on the Argos’ practice roster, Kackert retired for a third and (presumably) final time.
Until Sunday, that is.
Seeing Kackert’s name listed on the Argos’ website, I checked the CFL’s transactions page for a record of his signing. There wasn’t one.
Curious, I fired off some text messages to inquire about Kackert’s status with the Argos. As it turns out, Kackert’s addition to the site was nothing more than a clerical error.
Dexter McCluster, a diminutive return man who signed with Toronto in July, now dons the number 44 previously worn by Kackert. It was McCluster, not Kackert, who was supposed to appear on the club’s practice roster.
As far-fetched as his return seemed at first, I must confess that I was disappointed to learn that Kackert won’t be coming back to the CFL. Not many players can say they’ve retired four different times and, had he returned for one more stint with the Argos, that’s what Kackert would have done.
Kackert was a ton of fun to watch during his career — I’ve included a highlight video of his below — and looks like he could still play judging by the contents of his Instagram account.
Alas, we’ve probably seen the last of Chad Kackert.
Or have we?