‘Time to cut it loose’: Ticats’ Brandon Banks healthy as he’s going to be without taking a hit

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are ready to let Brandon Banks loose.

Banks has missed four games total, including the Ticats last outing with an injury to his ribs suffered in Week 5 against the Toronto Argonauts.

“He’s as healthy as he’s likely going to be until he can actually take a hit. It’s time for Brandon to cut it loose and see where we’re at,” head coach Orlondo Steinauer said.

“The extra time off has boded well, ribs are always a tricky injury, it’s not always just pain tolerance it’s comfort.”

The 33-year-old Banks has had a disappointing follow up campaign to his outstanding MOP season, catching 22 passes for 172 yards but no touchdowns and running for 64 more on seven carries in five games played.

“There’s lots of things that go with it as far as different angles, how you twist and turn, how you sleep, those type of things and we feel like all those are headed in the right direction,” Steinauer said about dealing with rib issues.

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 400 career CFL catches for 5,376 yards and 42 touchdowns, averaging 13.4 yards per catch, but hasn’t had any of that same success this season.