Tyrell Sutton has seen a lot over the course of his seven CFL seasons.
The 33-year-old running back knows there are even wilder times ahead. With the 2021 season very much still in question, Sutton knows cuts are coming in order to maintain the league’s financial viability. That’s a hard pill to swallow but he believes everyone needs to shoulder some burden in order for the league to survive.
“I hope we can return to a bit of normalcy. I know the money won’t be the same, I know some guys are gonna retire, but I just want the fans and all the players to know hopefully that the CFL will be around,” Sutton told the Daily Northwestern.
“It’s been around for a long time, and we have to support the cause. We have to give people a chance to work out their emotions, to work out their feelings, to be connected with one another.”
In some ways, the canceled season has softened Sutton somewhat. A vocal critic of the league’s lack of transparency leading into the decision to call it quits for 2020, the running back has found a silver lining in his year off.
“Like most fans — like most players — of course we were shocked and upset by it, but through all that darkness came me being able to spend time with my family,” Sutton says. “I’ve been married for a year, I just had my baby, so everything turned out to be great in that sense.”
Still, Sutton wants to get back on the field. The five-foot-nine, 205-pound back returned to where he began his career by signing with Montreal during free agency in February after stints with the B.C. Lions, Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
The cancelled season meant that he never got to show that he still had the ability to play like the leading rusher he was for the Als in 2015.
Last year, Sutton helped Hamilton reach the Grey Cup with 203 rushing yards on 35 carries in only four games for the team, while also making 11 catches for 126 yards and a major. In the Grey Cup he carried the ball 11 times for 86 yards, three of his carries were for more than 10 yards.
At 33, the clock is ticking on his career and Sutton wants another kick at the can. He loves living in Canada and wants to see one of its most important institutions properly preserved.
“Sports have been cancelled in Canada, but Canadian football, it’s a longstanding tradition of 150 years,” Sutton says. “So I hope we can bring back that tradition, and return to some kind of normalcy.”