The 2013 season is quickly becoming one to forget for Chad Kackert.
The Toronto Argonauts running back hurt his left ankle during the team’s practice Friday afternoon at Rogers Centre. The extent of the injury wasn’t immediately known but certainly leaves questions regarding the third-year player’s availability Nov. 17 when the Argos host either Hamilton or Montreal in the East Division final.
Argos head coach Scott Milanovich didn’t sound overly optimistic when discussing the injury.
“We don’t think it was a minor injury,” he said. “From what I saw, it was just kind of a freak deal.
“It looked like he was kind of slipping through the line of scrimmage and I don’t know that even if anyone touched him. You be as careful as you can but sometimes you can’t avoid things.”
Kackert, the MVP of Toronto’s Grey Cup victory last November against Calgary, has missed time this season with knee and shoulder injuries as well as a concussion.
However, the five-foot-eight, 206-pound Kackert was Toronto’s leading rusher this season, running for 480 yards on 71 carries (6.8-yard average) with three touchdowns. The former New Hampshire star added 23 catches for 184 yards and a TD.
Kackert enjoyed his best season with Toronto last year, rushing for 638 yards on 100 carries with five TDs. He was named the Grey Cup MVP after running for 133 yards on 20 carries and adding 62 yards receiving on eight catches in the Argos’ 35-22 win over Calgary at Rogers Centre.
Kackert re-signed with Toronto in the off-season.
If Kackert is unable to play Nov. 17, the Argos would look to either Jerious Norwood or Curtis Steele — both CFL rookies — as his replacement. Norwood was Toronto’s second-leading rusher this year with 342 yards on 58 carries (5.9-yard average) with one touchdown.
Steele ran for 187 yards on 39 carries (4.8-yard average) with three TDs this season.
“If we were to lose him, I think the guys understand this is football and this type of thing happens,” Milanovich said. “They will rally around Jerious and Curtis or whoever is in there.
“Fortunately all those guys have played and played in meaningful games. If Chad’s not able to go we’ll be sorry for him but we’ll move on and try to win for him.”