Canadian receiver Nate Behar, trio of defenders return for Redblacks vs. Ticats

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

The Ottawa Redblacks will have Canadian receiver Nate Behar back in the lineup for their pivotal clash with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Friday.

The 28-year-old sat out Ottawa’s Week 12 loss to Edmonton with an Achilles injury but returns following a bye week. He has collected 35 receptions for 283 yards and a touchdown this season.

A veteran of six CFL seasons, Behar broke out in 2022 in his second year with the Redblacks, catching 59 passes for 727 yards and two touchdowns. In 84 career games, he has amassed 175 receptions for 1,878 yards and four majors.

Behar will slot right back into the starting lineup, as American receiver Siaosi Mariner has been designated as a healthy scratch. Canadian running back Jackson Bennett (back) has also been placed on the one-game injured list.

The Redblacks will also see the return of three defensive starters from injury, including linebacker Frankie Griffin (head), safety Justin Howell (head), and defensive tackle Blessman Ta’ala (calf).

Griffin has missed the last four contests after recording 37 defensive tackles and an interception through the first seven, while Howell has notched 19 defensive tackles in six games. Ta’ala, the first overall pick in the 2023 Global Draft, has notched two tackles and a sack as part of the rotation inside through the first five games of the season.

Global defensive tackle Thomas Schaffer has been returned to the practice roster, while backup American linebacker Chizi Umunakwe was released earlier this week.

The Redblacks (3-8) will host the Ticats (4-7) on Friday, September 8 at 7:30 p.m. EDT. This is the third and final meeting between the East Division rivals this season, with Hamilton winning each of the first two contests.

Photo courtesy: Ottawa Redblacks