Ticats place all-star LB Simoni Lawrence back on six-game injured list, lose two more defensive starters

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The Hamilton Tiger-Cats will be without a trio of impactful defensive starters when they take on the Montreal Alouettes, including a potential extended absence for their biggest defensive star.

Veteran linebacker Simoni Lawrence has been placed back on the team’s six-game injured list due to a knee injury suffered in last week’s game against Toronto. Lawrence played through the ailment, making six tackles in the victory, but was unable to practice this week and could be in for a second extended absence this season.

The 33-year-old missed three games earlier in the season with a groin injury but was able to exit the six-game injured list early in time for the Ticats’ first double-header against the Argos. In six starts this year, he has recorded 27 tackles.

The University of Minnesota product was named the East Division’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player for the third time in his career in 2021 (2015, 2019, 2021) while also earning his third CFL all-star selection (2015, 2019, 2021) and his fifth CFL East Division All-Star (2014, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2021) honours.

Joining Lawrence on the six-game injured list is field-side cornerback Ciante Evans, who missed the full week of practice this week with a hand injury. The two-time former all-star has started nine games this season, making 16 tackles.

Also absent for this week will be 2021 all-star and boundary cornerback Jumal Rolle, who is on the one-game injured list due to a hamstring issue. The lockdown cover man has 25 tackles in nine games during his fourth season with the club.

Lawrence will be replaced by Kyle Wilson at the weakside linebacker spot, while Alden Darby Jr. and Desmond Lawrence are expected to fill in for the two corners.