Former CFL RB William Stanback returns to Las Vegas Raiders camp after death of both parents

Former Montreal Alouette running back William Stanback is facing an uphill battle to make the roster in Las Vegas, but that challenge is small compared to the personal tragedy he’s enduring.

“Raiders RB William Stanback has returned to camp after the passing of both his parents: dad William Sr. on July 21 from bladder cancer and mom Patricia on July 30 from a heart attack,” reported Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network. “Incomprehensible tragedy for Stanback, the former CFL star who’s still determined to compete.”

Head coach Jon Gruden stated last week that one of his running backs was away from camp for personal reasons, but Stanback’s name and situation were not given to reporters. Raiders players began training camp two days before the passing of Stanback’s mother, but are not allowed to begin contact practice until August 16.

Stanback wowed fans in Montreal as a physical six-foot-three, 233-pound runner. He rushed for 1,048 yards — third most in the CFL — and five touchdowns on 6.2 yards per carry with 33 catches for 329 yards in 14 games last season. He signed with Las Vegas in the off-season.

CFL followers have been rooting for Stanback from the start, but now they have one more reason to throw their support behind him as he looks to make a triumph from a tragedy.