EDMONTON — The Edmonton Eskimos have added some veteran help to their defence, adding linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis in a trade with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in exchange for a conditional eighth round selection in the 2018 CFL Draft.
Now in his third CFL season, Hoffman-Ellis landed in Hamilton this off-season as a free agent following two years in B.C. where he enjoyed a breakout year with the Lions in 2015. Stepping in for the injured Solomon Elimimian, the 26-year-old made 56 tackles and added three interceptions across 17 games.
Hoffman-Ellis was expected to fill the void left by the departed Taylor Reed but was a surprised scratch in Week 1 after being listed as the starting middle linebacker. Larry Dean has since stepped in for the Tabbies, recording nine defensive tackles and a sack in two games.
In Hoffman-Ellis, a Washington State graduate, the Eskimos are getting a solid tackler and proven playmaker. The 6-foot-1, 233-pound Los Angeles native broke onto the scene late in 2014, recording eight defensive tackles and two special teams tackles along with a forced fumble in one game in Week 20. The following year he emerged as a regular contributor.
He’ll step in and look to help the defending Grey Cup Champions right away after they struggled defensively in a 45-37 loss in Week 1 to the Ottawa REDBLACKS. The CFL’s second-ranked defence in 2015, that unit allowed 590 yards, including 543 through the air to Trevor Harris and Henry Burris.
The Eskimos are back in action on Friday, July 8 vs. the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Commonwealth Stadium.