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TORONTO — Chad Kackert’s retirement and coaching career hasn’t lasted long. Three months after announcing that he was retiring to join the Argos coaching staff, the speedy tailback has re-joined the club’s practice roster.
Despite playing just three seasons in Toronto, Kackert quickly emerged as an offensive threat from 2011-2013. He rushed for 1,467 yards on 228 carries — an impressive 6.4-yard average — with 12 touchdowns while adding 50 receptions for 454 yards, two TDs.
“Chad sustained a very unfortunate and serious injury last year while preparing for our playoff game. He spent the off-season working to rehabilitate his injury and, before training camp opened, he informed us of his decision to retire from football,” said Argos GM Jim Barker.
“His desire was to remain close to the game and we had an opportunity to help him make that transition and move forward. He fully committed to being our Strength & Conditioning Coach, and he has done a phenomenal job. We are anxious to see how far he’s come these past several months, and we’re hopeful he can return to playing at a high level.”
He ran for 139 yards and a TD in Toronto’s 27-20 road win over Montreal in the East Division final. The next week before over 50,000 fans at Rogers Centre, Kackert was named the MVP of the 100th Grey Cup game, rushing for 133 yards on 20 carries and recording eight catches for 62 yards in the Argos’ 35-22 win over the Calgary Stampeders.
An ankle injury during practice last season, forced the New Hamphire product to not only miss the playoffs but retire. He promptly took on the role of the Argonauts’ Strength and Conditioning coach when training camp’s opened in June.
Kackert, 27, worked to rehab his leg and hinted a few months back that he may not have closed the door on resuming his pro career.
“Never say never,” he told The Canadian Press back in June. “I just don’t feel like I’m anywhere close to being ready to play football, it’s an issue of range of motion, to be specific.
“I want my leg to get better just because who wants to walk around on a gimpy leg the rest of his life? If it’s sooner rather than later then I will re-evaluate but as of right I’m going to get my leg better and coach this team as far as strength and conditioning goes.
Although currently on the club’s PR it is difficult to imagine he will not be activated in the coming weeks if healthy. If so, he joins a backfield that already has International backs Curtis Steele and Steve Slaton who have been solid on the ground but rarely give the Boatmen the same opportunities to attack the boundary out of the backfield like Kackert.
The Argos return to the practice field Monday after a bye week as they begin to prep for the Edmonton Eskimos who come to Rogers Centre on Saturday, October 4. The Boatmen are entering a critical stretch run that will see them play five of their final six games at home.