Logjam at running back: Messam returns to Eskimos
By Chris O'Leary, Edmonton Journal August 29, 2012 11:26 AM
Messam, who signed a deal with NFL Miami after the 2011 season - in which Messam starred for the Eskimos en route to being named the CFL’s top Canadian - was cut Sunday by Miami and is returning to Edmonton.
- Jerome Messam is back in Edmonton, ready to resume his career in the Canadian Football League.
The league’s most outstanding Canadian in 2011, chose to forego the 10-day window he had with the National Football League, after the Miami Dolphins released him on Saturday. In passing on offers from other NFL teams and rejoining the Eskimos, where he rushed for 1,057 yards last year, the 27-year-old has given his team a good problem. Edmonton now has a wealth of talent at a position that it was thin at just two weeks ago.
The Eskimos could have Messam on the field at Commonwealth Stadium for practice as early as Thursday, which in theory could have him making his 2012 CFL debut on Labour Day against the Calgary Stampeders.
Eskimos running back Cory Boyd, who came to the team on Aug. 12 when the Toronto Argonauts released him, had already shifted from saying the right things about his former team to saying the right things about Messam’s impending return on Monday night after the Eskimos win over the Argos.
“One thing I want people to stop saying is, ‘How many touches am I going to get?’? Boyd said after he turned nine carries into 45 yards on Monday.
“It doesn’t matter how many touches I get. When I’m out on that field, I love the fact that I’m playing this game. Just me being there … it changes the mindset of defences.?
Messam will give the Eskimos some ratio flexibility and could present some interesting lineup combinations for his team. While Messam is a proven commodity from last year, Boyd has been outstanding in his own right in his three-year CFL career, rushing for 1,359 yards with Toronto in 2010 and 1,141 a year ago. At the time of his release he was leading the league in rushing.
Hugh Charles has also made a name for himself this season in Edmonton. The former Saskatchewan Roughriders backup running back made up the bulk of the Eskimos offence in the first few weeks of the season. He leads the team in rushing with 504 yards on 106 carries. He has caught 16 passes this year for 284 yards and has four touchdowns in the Eskimos’ eight games. The Eskimos are taking Wednesday off before beginning preparations for their Monday game against Calgary, who boasts a highly talented running back of their own in Jon Cornish.
now my question to you is: Who do they let go?