Mercer Timmis and Frankie Williams. Photo Scott Grant /
Mercer Timmis and Frankie Williams. Photo Scott Grant /

Canadian running back Mercer Timmis has had his pro football career cut short.

Timmis is retiring from the CFL because of what is believed to be concussion-related issues. Timmis was a promising young runner. The Hamilton Ticats selected the Burlington native in the second round, 14th overall during the 2016 CFL draft.

During his first two seasons in the league, Timmis mainly played special teams suiting up in 18 games with eight carries for 26 yards and five catches for 35 yards sprinkled in. At the onset of year three it seemed Timmis was about to breakout. He carried the ball 17 times for 133 yards and two touchdowns, including a 44-yard burst against the Eskimos in Week 2 as the Ticats won convincingly.

But that was the only game Timmis had double digit carries. Even after showing the ability to produce when given a solid workload, albeit a small sample size, the 25-year-old never received a fair shot to be used more as a pure running back. Perhaps his Canadian birth certificate played a role, but either way the real chance never happened.

When Timmis was an every down back at the University of Calgary he was ultra productive and knew how to find the end zone – 44 career rushing touchdowns ranks fourth all-time in USports history. That ability was flashed in the CFL one night in Edmonton. And that’s why the Argos signed Timmis in February during free agency.

The potential won’t be realized, but what’s more important is the health for Timmis and walking away from the game seems prudent.


Justin Dunk is the pre-eminent CFL insider and unabashed supporter of Canadian quarterbacks. He is one of the founders of the new 3DownNation.