Sun, 28 Nov 2021

Hamilton hopes to have WR Brandon Banks back vs. Ottawa

Field Level Media
23 Oct 2021, 04:05 GMT+10

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats may have a familiar face in their lineup Saturday afternoon when they host the provincial rival Ottawa Redblacks.

Receiver Brandon Banks, the CFL's Outstanding Player in 2019, has been practicing this week for the Tiger-Cats (4-5) in a bid to return from a rib injury that has sidelined him for four of the past five games.

"I'm like Speedy's No. 1 fan since he got here," quarterback Jeremiah Masoli said of Banks on Thursday. "We've had a nice connection.

"He's definitely a comfort out there to have. He's been raising his mojo, too, getting the younger guys going around. (I'm) very hyped and excited to see him out there."

Banks is expected to join fellow receiver Jaelon Acklin to provide a potent punch in the passing game for Hamilton. Acklin leads the team in catches (34) and receiving yards (443) and is tied for top honors with two touchdown grabs.

Masoli will receive his third straight start on Saturday as he bids to end Hamilton's two-game losing streak. The 33-year-old wasn't to blame in his last contest on Oct. 11, as he threw for 361 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 24-23 setback to the Toronto Argonauts.

The Redblacks (2-8) are turning back to struggling rookie quarterback Caleb Evans for Saturday's contest.

Evans threw three interceptions before being benched last Saturday as Ottawa sustained its third straight loss with a 27-16 setback to the Montreal Alouettes. The double-digit loss was the Redblacks' seventh of the season.

"Part of our problem right now is not winning the turnover margin and putting our defense on the field with short fields by turning the ball over. We've just done that too much," Ottawa coach Paul LaPolice said. "... Three interceptions and a fumble from the quarterback position, we have to secure the ball better."

Hamilton cruised to a 24-7 win over Ottawa in the teams' first encounter on Sept. 22.

--Field Level Media

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