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Veteran cornerback Peters resumes practising with Tiger-Cats

Jamal Peters Toronto Argonauts Jamal Peters - The Canadian Press

HAMILTON — Jamal Peters could return just in time to face the buzz saw that is Shawn Bane Jr.

The veteran cornerback resumed practising this week with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He missed their season-opening 32-24 road loss to the Calgary Stampeders last week with a hamstring injury.

Peters, 27, could make his Hamilton debut Sunday night when the Ticats host Saskatchewan. The Roughriders are coming off a 29-21 road win in Edmonton last week, outscoring the Elks 21-3 in the fourth quarter.

Edmonton didn't help its cause with turnovers in the final quarter. But Bane was a big part of Saskatchewan's victory, registering five catches for 125 yards and a club record-tying three TDs.

Veteran quarterback Trevor Harris, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, was also a key figure for Saskatchewan. The 38-year-old American finished 22-of-31 passing for 305 yards with three TDs and two interceptions.

"They've got good players, good receivers," Peters said Friday. "Bane is a great receiver, (Kian) Schaffer-Baker is a great receiver, they're all great.

"You've got A.J. (running back A.J. Ouellette), he's a power back and you've got to hit him. Trevor has been in this league for so long, there's a reason why he's a starting quarterback. I mean, it's a good challenge for us and I think we're going to live up to that moment."

But Hamilton head coach Scott Milanovich is taking a cautious approach regarding Peters' status for Sunday's game.

"It's all going to be dependent on how he feels (Saturday) morning and how he feels game day," Milanovich said. "We're optimistic.

"When he's at the top of his game, he's elite and a difference-maker at the boundary corner. Next guy up mentality but it's good to have him in there, for sure."

Bane's stellar outing wasn't overly surprising although the three TDs in a game could be deemed so. The five-foot-nine, 178-pound receiver had 93 catches for 1,104 yards and four touchdowns last season, his first with Saskatchewan.

This off-season, the Riders signed the 29-year-old Florida native to a two-year extension through 2025. Bane began his CFL career with Calgary (2021-22), appearing in 32 career games with 24 receptions for 388 yards and two touchdowns.

But Peters emphasized that given the physical demands of facing the high-powered Riders offence, he must be at 100 per cent efficiency if he returns.

"You've got to be," he said. "You don't want to go out there 90 per cent and have hesitation for the game. "

The six-foot-two, 220-pound Peters is in his first season with Hamilton after having established himself as one of the CFL's top corners over three years with Toronto (2021-23). He recorded 120 tackles, 11 interceptions and two forced fumbles in 36 regular-season games with the Argonauts.

Peters was a 2022 CFL all-star when he had a league-high six interceptions (one returned for touchdown). He also registered 57 tackles and a sack in helping the Argos win the Grey Cup that season.

Peters made 13 starts with Toronto in 2023, recording 32 tackles (two for loss), four interceptions and two forced fumbles. But Peters said there's a definite gameplan a defence can initiate when facing a veteran quarterback like Harris.

"We just have to bite down and have sticky coverage," he said. "Once we get (Harris) off his first read I think we have a chance of stopping him.

"The main thing is he's a great quarterback ... but we have to execute and do what we have to do."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 14, 2024.