Edmonton Elks release veteran running back James Wilder Jr.

Photo courtesy: George Fourlaris/Edmonton Elks

The Edmonton Elks officially released veteran running back James Wilder Jr.

Wilder Jr. announced his own release back in December of last year but the team had not made it official until Wednesday.

The six-foot-three, 232-pound ball carrier played 15 games for the Elks over two seasons, rushing 170 times for 894 yards and two touchdowns while also catching 37 passes for 316 yards and one score.

The Florida State University product missed the majority of the 2022 season after suffering a spinal injury. He played in three games for the green and gold last year after playing 12 for the team the season before.

The 30-year-old came to Edmonton after three seasons with the Toronto Argonauts and following his retirement in 2020 due to uncertainty stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

During his time in double blue, Wilder played 44 games with his rookie season in 2017 being his best. He recorded 872 rushing yards and five touchdowns while adding 467 yards receiving on his way to CFL Most Outstanding Rookie honours and a Grey Cup championship.

In 59 career CFL games, Wilder Jr. has rushed for 2,917 yards and 11 touchdowns on 530 carries, while catching 191 passes for 1,803 yards and six more scores.

The Elks also released quarterback Vincent Testaverde Jr., who was signed by the team back in February.

Testaverde Jr. is the son of long-time NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Vinny Testaverde who played for seven different teams during a 21-year NFL career. The elder Testaverde was the first overall pick in the 1987 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a stellar collegiate career at the University of Miami.