Reigning MOP Brandon Banks ‘medically cleared,’ but will not dress due to continued ‘discomfort’

Brandon Banks’ frustrating 2021 season has hit another snag, as the diminutive speedster has been placed on the one-game injured list and will miss his team’s Thanksgiving Monday tilt against the Toronto Argonauts.

The league’s reigning Most Outstanding Player already missed three games this season with a rib injury, but returned to the lineup in last week’s overtime loss to Montreal. Banks recorded four catches for just 15 yards in that outing, but continued to be hampered by injury. That led to the decision to sit him down once again.

“Brandon’s tough. There was some discomfort in the game last week and so, while he’s medically cleared, he’s not extremely comfortable completely,” head coach Orlondo Steinauer told the media. “I’m not sure that he re-injured it or not and I’m not going to make that medical assessment. I just know that last week he was playing through some pain and we’re going to let that heal up and see what happens.”

Banks has had a disappointing follow up campaign to his outstanding 2019 season, catching just 22 passes for 172 yards and running for 64 more on seven carries in five games played. Asked when Speedy B might get back to full speed, Steinauer didn’t have an answer.

“You’d have to ask Brandon. I’d just be speculating. I can’t tell you how he feels day-to-day,” he said. “I just know that he’s tough and he wants to do anything he can to help this football team win.”

Speedy B started 16 games for the Tiger-Cats in 2019 and set career highs while leading the league in all major receiving categories with 112 receptions, 1,550 yards, and 13 touchdowns. He produced 16 total majors — 13 receiving, two on missed field goal returns, and one rushing TD.

The veteran was a CFL all-star in 2018, finishing second among all receivers in the league with 94 receptions and 1,423 yards while tying for first with 11 receiving majors. In 2017, Banks produced his first 1,000-yard season with 67 catches for 1,011 yards and eight touchdowns.

Banks has 396 career CFL catches for 5,361 yards and 42 touchdowns, averaging 13.8 yards per catch, but hasn’t had any of that same success this season.

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