GUELPH, ONT. -- The Hamilton Tiger-Cats will be missing one star player from their lineup but will mark the return of another when they host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers here Saturday evening.
While Hamilton slotback Andy Fantuz will miss Saturday’s contest with what the club is only calling a lower-body injury, Tiger-Cats running back Chevon Walker will be in the Cats lineup for the first time this season when the 0-2 Tiger-Cats face the 1-1 Bombers.
Walker rushed for 656 yards on just 118 carries in 2012 and was gushing today about the chance to finally get to play in 2013 after losing his job in the pre-season -- thanks in large part to an injury -- to CJ Gable.
"I’m ready to play football, man. I’m ready to help my team," Walker said this afternoon during media availability at the Ticats offices in downtown Hamilton. "Yeah, I definitely feel like it’s time to let loose. I definitely want to make a statement."
Walker will have a retooled Bombers defensive line with which to work. The Bombers will have Jake Thomas starting at one of their tackle positions this week in place of an injured Bryant Turner and they will also have defensive end Dexter Davis playing in place of Freddie Harris, who is a healthy scratch this week.
The Bombers have also added defensive tackle Marquis Frazier and returner Aaron Woods to their 46-man roster this week. Head coach Tim Burke said Frazier will play Saturday in a rotational role; Woods is not expected to play.
On offence, the Bombers will also start Isaac Anderson this week in place of an injured slotback Terrence Edwards.
Meanwhile, Walker isn’t the only running back that’s looking to make a statement in Saturday’s game. Bombers tailback Chad Simpson’s been held to just 90 rushing yards through two games and is hoping to have a breakout game against a Hamilton defence that is been giving up an average of 9.0 yards per carry, by far the worst in the CFL, this season.
Simpson was asked during a media availability this afternoon shortly after the Bombers arrived here at their downtown hotel whether he’s salivating at the chance to run against the porous Hamilton defence.
"You can’t go in thinking like that because you might be the game they get it right on," said Simpson. "I’m just approaching them like every other team. But with that being said, I also feel against every team like I will do good against them."