Alouettes to rely on Sutton against Roughriders

As much as every professional athlete wants to play, he’ll claim opportunity shouldn’t come at the expense of another who has been injured.

See Full Article

Otherwise, he comes across as being selfish, and not a team player.

Tyrell Sutton has always felt a connection to Brandon Whitaker since his arrival in Montreal last season. Two men chasing the same job, which is perhaps why Sutton has felt a symbiotic relationship with the Alouettes’ starting tailback.

And so, it’s with mixed emotions that Sutton has taken his promotion to starter after the Als placed Whitaker on the six-game injured list late Friday afternoon. He broke two bones in his foot last Wednesday during an off-field workout. With five games remaining in the regular season, and the Als in no way guaranteed a playoff berth, Whitaker’s season might, in fact, be over.

“It’s very unfortunate. Anyone can tell you he (Whitaker) is one of my best friends. He’s like a brother of mine,” Sutton said Sunday, during an interview in the team’s Olympic Stadium dressing room. “I didn’t want to do this without him. I still don’t, but the game stops for nobody.

“Nobody wants to be a backup, but you play the role that you have. I’m not saying I was fine with it, but I was fine with it. There’s nothing wrong with Whit. There’s no reason for me to say I should be starting over Whit.”

But beginning Monday afternoon at Molson Stadium (1 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN Radio-690) against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, that’s the role Sutton has been cast into. And he’ll be backed up by former Pittsburgh Steeler Chris Rainey, although he arrived only this week and had been on the practice roster.

Whitaker was second in the Canadian Football League in rushing yards, behind Calgary’s Jon Cornish, but has a history of injury problems. He tore his anterior cruciate ligament in 2012, and finished last season on the nine-game injured list after dislocating a shoulder and pulling his hamstring.

Sutton started the final three games, along with the East Division semifinal against Hamilton. He exceeded 100 yards in both games against the Tiger-Cats and completed the season with an impressive 6.2-yard average, gaining 342 yards on 55 carries.

“Everybody trusts Sutton. He can run. He can block. He knows the offence,” said offensive-tackle Jeff Perrett. “He’s a physical runner, straight downhill, and he’s not scared of contact. He’s not scared to be a blocker. He’s fast and has the whole package.”

At 5-foot-8 and 213 pounds, Sutton’s two inches shorter, but 13 pounds heavier than Whitaker. Sutton, who spent time in the NFL with Green Bay, Carolina and Seattle, started this season on the six-game injured list, having suffered a hamstring problem at training camp. The Als introduced a two-back system two months ago, at Saskatchewan. Sutton was dressed for Montreal’s last game, at Ottawa, but failed to play a down because of a rib injury.

Sutton, much like Mike Pringle –– who will attend a halftime ceremony Monday during which former quarterback Anthony Calvillo will have his number retired –– will gain his yards running over and through tacklers. He’s an aggressive ball-carrier compared to the elusive and shifty Whitaker.

“I don’t care. You hit me, you’re going to feel some kind of force behind it,” Sutton said. “We’re both quick, fast and very intelligent.”



Advertisements

Latest Football News

  • Als are on top, ‘but I don’t want to get too excited,’ Higgins says

    Football Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — The Alouettes aren’t out of the woods yet. While they’ve won six of their last seven games and technically sit first in the East Division — tied with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, but holding the tiebreaker if necessary — they’ve yet to secure a playoff berth. Source
  • Herb Zurkowsky: Alouettes' 'tenacious' defence refuses to lose

    Football Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — There are not enough words, it seems, enough adjectives and superlatives to describe the Alouettes’ defence of late. A defence that continues defying the odds and overcoming obstacles; a defence that refuses to succumb to the seemingly daunting hurdles it faces. Source
  • Alouettes' defence delivers again

    Football Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — This season has been all about the Alouettes’ defence. So why would it have been any different in Montreal’s most-important game of the year? Source
  • The fall from grace of Alouettes' starting QB Troy Smith

    Football Toronto Sun
    It will live there, some would say in infamy, on the ninth page of this season’s Alouettes media guide — the full-page colour photo of a very serious-looking Troy Smith, clutching a football, dressed in full uniform, standing on the 30-yard line. Source
  • Montreal Alouettes release former Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith

    Football Toronto Sun
    MONTREAL – The Montreal Alouettes released quarterback Troy Smith on Thursday. The former Heisman Trophy winner started the Als’ first six games before being placed on the six-game injured list. Source
  • Whitaker remains positive despite injury

    Football Toronto Sun
    It has now been three years running Alouettes tailback Brandon Whitaker has suffered a season-ending injury. That will lead to some speculation the team could move on without him in 2015. Source
  • Alouettes face uphill battle for playoff berth

    Football Toronto Sun
    Jim Popp believes it’s going to take a nine-win season in the East Division to qualify for the playoffs, meaning the Alouettes — much like Toronto and Hamilton — must win three of their remaining four games. Source
  • Zurkowsky: Grey Cups capped Calvillo’s legacy

    Football Toronto Sun
    How might history been altered, fates changed and careers defined had the Saskatchewan Roughriders not had 13 men on the field for what should have been the final play of the 2009 Grey Cup? Source
  • Photos: Als vs. Roughriders, Oct. 13, 2014

    Football Toronto Sun
    Cars! Travel! Furniture! Gift Cards! And much, much, more! Nearly $1 million in local deep discount deals on sale now at likeitbuyitmontreal.com Source
  • Today's Als game belongs to Calvillo

    Football Toronto Sun
    On a day that belongs to Anthony Calvillo, there’s not enough praise and kudos former coaches and players could lavish on the legendary Alouettes’ quarterback, professional football’s passing leader. Source