The Edmonton Eskimos made headlines this week when they acquired running back CJ Gable from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The timing could not come at a better time for the Eskimos in their wackiest season in franchise history. In fact, it could be considered the wackiest season any team has had in the history of the Canadian Football League.
After winning their first seven games, the Eskimos have lost their last six games. That makes their game against the Montreal Alouettes in Quebec on Thanksgiving Day, not just important but down right critical. In their six game losing streak, the Eskimos have been outscored 213-142. Their offense just has not been able to get going, making it necessary to acquire Gable.
In nine games with Hamilton in 2017, Gable has had 74 carries for 466 yards and five touchdowns. One impressive statistic that Gable brings to the table is his impressive 6.3 yards per carry, which is a career high.
The 6.3 yards per carry ranks Gable second in the CFL amongst running backs with 50 or more carries this season. Only James Wilder of the Toronto Argonauts at 7.6 yards per carry has been better than Gable.
The Eskimos had a great running attack early in the season, as Ladarious Perkins rushed for 105 yards in a game against the Tiger-Cats on August 4, and Travon Van rushed for 103 yards in a game against the Ottawa Redblacks on July 14. However during the streak, the Eskimos have not had strong performances from Perkins and Van, so it was necessary to bring in a more experienced running back to turn the Eskimos season around.
In return, the Tiger-Cats acquired two players on the Eskimos negotiation list. It is unfortunate the Canadian Football League does not make the negotiation list public.
Finally, in another wacky situation, Eskimos wide receiver Brandon Zylstra was named the CFL’s player of the month of September, despite the fact the Eskimos failed to win a game. Zylstra had 31 receptions for 528 yards and two touchdowns. According to the CFL, they are unaware of another player in CFL history that has been named the player of the month and been unable to win a game through the honoured month.