‘I can’t even see myself in another CFL jersey’: Ticats’ Brandon Banks wants to play entire career for Hamilton

Photo courtesy: Ryan McCullough/Ticats.ca

Brandon Banks wants to play for one team and one team only.

The Tiger-Cats star loves Hamilton while he plans on wearing black and gold for his entire CFL career, however long it lasts.

“I can’t even see myself in another CFL jersey. If I’m playing football next year, it will be with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. It’s not about money or nothing like that, I want to do what’s best for the organization to get them a Grey Cup,” Banks said.

“I don’t want to be the highest paid no more, someone else deserves that. I don’t want to be a vet that’s holding the organization up. I want them to get better and move forward. I think I still can play football, I still have some football in me, but who knows.”

Banks earned $162,000 prorated in 2021 while the soon-to-be 34-year-old played 10 games during the shortened season. He was targeted by Ticats quarterbacks 70 times making 44 receptions for 474 yards and two touchdowns. Banks missed four games with an injury to his ribs suffered in Week 5 against the rival Toronto Argonauts during the Labour Day Classic.

“I took a really good shot on my ribs, I had three bruised ribs that I went home and got further evaluation on, so I was advised not to play. I had a tough time dealing with the ribs because the only thing that heals ribs is time, there’s no treatment or nothing that you can do,” Banks said.

“That hit that I took affected most of my season. Each week got better, the game that I felt almost like myself was the playoff Toronto game. I actually felt like I was running around and wasn’t thinking about something that hurt. Towards the end of the season I was about 85-90 percent going into the Grey Cup.”

That was not the MOP version of Banks that took the field this year. Speedy B started 16 games for Hamilton 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 has 422 career catches for 5,678 yards and 44 touchdowns, averaging 13.5 yards per catch.

“I had a lot of injures, obviously from that hit that I took. I had a lot of nicks and bruises as far as my hamstring, my knee was bothering then I was dealing with turf toes,” Banks said.

“This year, the injuries, I felt them a little bit more, they affected my play and my availability for the team, but it’s part of the game.”