Jalen Saunders looking to make CFL return after recovering from car accident

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Bill Haber

Former star CFL receiver Jalen Saunders is looking to make a return to the league after undergoing yet another long recovery process, he revealed in correspondence with 3DownNation.

Saunders was in a serious car accident in May 2021 that prevented him from playing this past season with the Ottawa Redblacks. He has since made a full recovery and is in discussions with a number of teams about potentially signing a contract for the upcoming season.

The 29-year-old made 76 receptions for a team-leading 1,170 yards and four touchdowns with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2017. He made 45 receptions for 739 yards and two touchdowns in nine games the following year before suffering a torn ACL, MCL, and meniscus against the Toronto Argonauts.

Hamilton released Saunders before training camp got underway in 2019 because he was still recovering from his knee injury. He was selected by the Houston Roughnecks in the 2020 XFL Draft but he was placed on injured reserve before the start of the season.

Saunders was selected by the New York Jets in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played in nine games with the Jets and New Orleans Saints during his rookie season, posting one reception for seven yards, 15 punt returns for 125 yards, and three kickoff returns for 139 yards.

The University of Oklahoma product also spent time with the Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, and Chicago Bears, earning over $850,000 USD during his NFL career.

Saunders played 22 games in college for the Oklahoma Sooners and recorded 123 receptions for 1,558 yards and 11 touchdowns. He had previously played at Fresno State University where he produced 80 catches for 1,527 yards and 15 touchdowns in 26 games.

The five-foot-nine, 171-pound target ran the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds at the 2014 NFL Combine along with a 34-inch vertical jump and a ten-foot, two-inch broad jump.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.