MISSISSAUGA — Argonauts backup running back Chad Kackert was on Toronto’s practice field Thursday, training with the first team. It was only for a moment, however. Something was bothering starter Cory Boyd, and then it was not anymore.
Kackert went back to the practice squad and scout team, and waited.
Besides the season opener in Edmonton, when the 25-year-old had two carries for minus three rushing yards, and 64 kickoff return yards, he has been included in most 46-man rosters, then cut away from the game day 42.
“It was a little easy to accept as a rookie, I will be honest with you, but it’s a [Canadian] ratio thing. It is something you have to understand coming from the states up here, and I do understand it. It is a test to my character. They say a backup is only a chinstrap away from playing,” Kackert said after practice, trying to smile.
The New Hampshire product became something of a darling for Argos fans in 2011, praised for his brute force and persistence as he ran for 349 yards and four touchdowns. It was enough to prove to some Kackert is a worthwhile project. So far, head coach Scott Milanovich does not agree.
“I’m grateful for where I am. But being here every week, and being on the team, and seeing areas where you think you can help contribute it is kind of tough. You have to understand every contribution you have happens right here [on the practice field] instead of on game day,” Kackert said.
Milanovich says the running back is doing well in practice, but will not say much else. For now, Kackert will sit on the sidelines during home games and spit sunflower seeds into a bottle, or watch away games on television like it is an unexpected weekend off… and wait.
“I don’t doubt the coaches know I’m here. I don’t think it is my position to go up and remind them verbally, it is my job to come out here and prove myself everyday,” he said.
“I always want to be playing. I always have.”