Speedy B all systems go for Ticats

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com
Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Brandon Banks will be back speeding around the football field.

Hamilton’s starting quarterback Dane Evans sees the No. 1 threat on the Ticats offence return to the lineup, which should help the young pivot.

“Speedy’s one of the best players in this league. Not too many guys can go by one name, in any league when you go by one name you’re a big time player,” Evans said.

“It’s a weapon to have in our arsenal.”

Banks comes off the one-game injured list for Hamilton’s Week 9 game against the B.C. Lions, but he’s still dealing with a turf toe issue that caused him to miss the Ticats’ loss in Saskatchewan. The 31-year-old has 42 receptions for 554 yards, good for third in the CFL despite missing one game, and three touchdowns so far in 2019.

“He’s a difference-maker, he’s a dynamic player. It’s a long season, I think there’s other times earlier in his career we may have pushed him through and kept going. But he’s an integral part of what we’re doing and to have him back is a bonus,” Ticats head coach Orlondo Steinauer said.

“As of right now he’s full go ready to go, he’s feeling good. We’ll just keep changing his shoes.”

Banks was a 2018 CFL all-star finishing second in receptions (94) and yards (1,423) among all receivers and tied for first with 11 receiving touchdowns while averaging 15.1 yards per catch. He inked a lucrative two-year contract extension in January through the 2020 season.

Speedy B has back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons after compiling 1,011 yards and eight touchdowns on 67 catches in just 10 starts at receiver during the 2017 schedule. Banks was primarily used as a returner under Kent Austin but moved to receiver when June Jones took over as head coach and its paid large dividends for the Ticats.

Prior to 2017, Banks’ best production as a receiver came in 2014 when he caught 42 balls for 529 yards and five touchdowns. He has 308 career CFL catches for 4,208 yards and 32 touchdowns.

Banks is arguably the most dangerous playmaker with the football in his hands league-wide.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.