Monday, August 24, 2009

CFL: Plenty of Running Backs Available For Ottawa CFL Team

As a follow-up Steve Thompson's article about possible quarterbacks available for the new Ottawa team in 2010, 2011 or 2012 here's a list of possible running backs who'll be available.

(Kudos to Steve for suggesting this article on my bulletion board.)

•Jesse Lumsden, Edmonton Eskimos
Face it, you and me both know the power back out McMaster is easily one of the most injury prone players in the CFL. However, he has outstanding talent so much so the Seattle Seahawks brought him to training camp in 2005.
But back to the injuries, in the three seasons in Hamilton he always had some kind of injury that caused him to miss some games.
This season, one of the first hits he took all year in the first game, he injured his shoulder. The shoulder injury has caused him to undergo surgery and he'll miss the rest of the season.
But, let's go back to the talent. With his talent he'll most likely continue to get chances with teams in the CFL who need a quality running back or better backup.
Lumsden recently turned 27, which means in 2012 he'll be 30 by mid-season which tends to be the start of the downfall for running backs. But, if Ottawa wants to put fans in the seats they'll take a chance on one of very few Canadian running backs.

•Kenton Keith, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Coming into this season, Keith was the projected start for the Tiger-Cats, but an injury forced rookie running back DeAndra Cobb into the starting role.
As of today, Cobb has 479 yards on 67 carries and is easily one of the best rookies in the CFL.
Cobb's performance makes Keith expendable and whether the Ottawa team starts next season or one of the following years, Keith could be available for them. Assuming he doesn't leave for another NFL oppurtunity.

•Ian Smart, BC Lions
The speedy kick returner was the projected starter when Stefan Logan headed for greener pastures with the Pittsburgh Steelers but an injury and Martell Mallett's great camp performance ended that hope.
Smart is now on the reserve list waiting for another oppurtunity.
BC's backup running back Emmanuel Marc has been satisfactory and doesn't seem like he'll lose his job anytime soon.
If something doesn't happen soon, Marc could become available for team Ottawa.

•Demetris Summers, Calgary Stampeders
Summers wasn't great last year in Calgary (19 carries, 121 yards, 1 touchdown) and then an injury this year has caused him to miss every game.
Calgary has some running back depth behind star Joffrey Reynolds with Canadian Jon Cornish and import Derek Watson.
Summers is more than expendable and Calgary and their fans probably wouldn't be hard broken to part with him.

• Charles Roberts, Free Agent
Probably one of the least likely to be picked up by team Ottawa but the 30 year-old still might be ineligible for "Cash for Clunkers" and could have some gas in the tank.
With his most recent 1,000 yard season coming in 2007 and then getting almost 800 yards with BC and Winnipeg last year he has shown he can still get the job done to an extent.
If no one else if available for them I wouldn't be surprised to see Roberts get a look.

•Other Names
•Joe Smith
•Lavarus Giles
•Tyler Ebell
•An NFL cut

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