Alouettes’ Khari Jones ‘hoping for the best’ after all-star RB William Stanback taken to hospital with ankle injury

Courtesy: AP Photo/Larry MacDougal

Alouettes’ running back William Stanback could miss significant time in 2022 after suffering an apparent lower leg injury early in the CFL season opener against the Calgary Stampeders, but his team hopes he avoided the worst of the damage.

Speaking to the media post-game, Montreal head coach Khari Jones could not provide definitive information on the nature of the injury but suggested that Stanback did not break to the bone.

“We’re not sure yet, he hurt his ankle there. I don’t think it’s broken, but we’ll find out pretty soon here. It was pretty swollen,” Jones said, in video shared by TSN’s Sara Orlesky.

Stanback carried the three times for 11 yards and caught two passes for 17 yards and a touchdown in little more than a quarter of action Thursday. He left the game on a cart early in the second quarter after receiving a blow to his left ankle from Stampeders’ cornerback Tre Roberson on a play that set up a Dominique Davis touchdown plunge.

The six-foot, 233-pound ball carrier had been limited in practice in the lead up to the game with an existing ankle injury but was given the go-ahead to play.

According to Didier Ormejuste of RDS, Stanback was taken to the hospital along with the team doctor but returned to the sideline on crutches late in the game. His head coach could not provide a timeline for the duration of the injury, which would depend on the location and severity of a fracture.

“I think he’ll be sidelined for a bit, just looking at the ankle and it was swelling up on the field a little bit,” Jones said. “We’re hoping for the best, but it’s just unfortunate.”

Stanback recorded 193 carries for 1,176 yards and three touchdowns over 12 games last season, leading the league in rushing for the first time in his career. He also caught 16 passes for 114 yards and was named a CFL all-star.

The three-year veteran has been an explosive player since he joined the Alouettes in 2018, rushing for 2,763 yards and eight touchdowns over 42 career games.

Backup running back Jeshrun Antwi carried the ball seven times for 98 yards in Stanback’s absence, but the Alouettes still fell to Calgary by a score of 30-27.