Ticats taking it slow with receiver Luke Tasker because they can

Locking up first place in your division a month early certainly has its advantages.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats, coming off a record-breaking 13th regular season win, continue to take things slow with star slotback Luke Tasker. The 28-year-old has only dressed for seven games this year and hasn’t suited up since mid-August.

Head coach Orlondo Steinauer spoke regarding Tasker’s health late last week.

“Where we’re at now with Luke, obviously, he was a huge ingredient in helping us get to this point,” said¬†Steinauer. “He’s been part of the organization for a while. For him it’s been a frustrating process.”

The Ticats have been buoyed on offence by 1,000-yard seasons from Brandon Banks and Bralon Addison and the emergence of rookies Jaelon Acklin and Marcus Tucker. With so many weapons in the mix, Hamilton’s attack has remained potent with Tasker out of the lineup.

That doesn’t mean we won’t see the Cornell product back on the field anytime soon.

“Sometimes it’s a do-or-die game, there is no tomorrow get out there,” said Steinauer. “We’re just not in that situation. When he’s fully ready and the doctors and everybody are comfortable, both mentally and physically, when Luke’s ready he’ll be out there. I see him out there before the end of the year.”

Tasker has 26 receptions for 292 yards in seven starts this season. He has reached 1,000 yards in three previous seasons, including 2018 when he caught a career-high 11 touchdown passes.

The Tiger-Cats locked up the East Division earlier this month when the second-place Montreal Alouettes (9-7) fell to Winnipeg.

Hamilton (13-3) has two games remaining to improve on its franchise record for regular season victories. The Ticats visit Montreal this week — where they lost 36-29 in Week 4 — before hosting the lowly Toronto Argonauts (3-13).

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