For the second time this season, Cory Boyd finds himself without a job. Mere weeks after being picked up by the Edmonton Eskimos after getting his walking papers from the Toronto Argonauts, the onetime leading rusher in the CFL is on the outside looking in once again after being released on Thursday along with defensive back Ronnie Prude.
“Today’s move is in no way a reflection of the caliber of play of these young men,” Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed said in a press release. “This is a consequence of the exceptionally high level of injuries we have sustained – double that of typical years – and this issue has a direct impact on our salary cap management. I thank Cory and Ronnie for their professionalism and contributions to the team this season.”
The die was cast for Boyd when the Esks picked up Jerome Messam in late September after he was cut by the NFL’s Miami Dolphins a month before. With Hugh Charles already established as the feature player in Edmonton’s offensive backfield, the presence of Messam — named the CFL’s Outstanding Canadian player in 2011 — meant fewer opportunities for Boyd.
As it turned out, the 27-year-old Boyd played in four games, running 18 times for 76 yards and four receptions for 40 yards. Once Messam returned, Boyd was relegated to the bench and sat for four games before his release.
Perhaps the most likely destination for Boyd now is Montreal. Alouettes tailback Brandon Whitaker had season-ending surgery on his right knee after tearing his ACL in a 28-17 win over Saskatchewan Sept. 16. With the Als having to turn to rookie Victor Anderson, Boyd may be a tempting target for Montreal GM Jim Popp.
Ironically, Toronto could probably use Boyd now as well. The player Boyd was released for, Chad Kackert, tweaked a knee during a 45-31 win Sept. 8 against Hamilton, a game which saw him rush for a career-high 172 yards and three touchdowns. Since the injury, his role on the team has been filled in the last four games by rookie Gerald Riggs Jr., son of longtime Falcons and Redskins running back Gerald Riggs.
During his time with the Argos, Boyd became known as a straight-ahead runner whose attention to blocking and protecting the quarterback was found to be lacking. Where he will end up is unknown at this point; still, there should be some room in the CFL for a player like Cory Boyd. Meanwhile the Eskimos, who are cellar-dwellers in the West Division with a 6-8 record, prepare to host the 8-6 Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday.