HAMILTON - It appears tailback Martell Mallett is going to have to put his return to the CFL on hold.
A league source requesting anonymity said Mallett, the CFL's outstanding rookie in 2009, suffered a torn Achilles tendon at the Hamilton Tiger-Cats' training camp Thursday. Although the CFL club hasn't provided an update on Mallett's condition, a source added the injury is very likely season-ending.
Hamilton had high hopes for the 26-year-old native of Pine Bluff, Ark., who captured the CFL's top rookie award in '09 with the B.C. Lions. That season, he ran for over 1,240 yards — including a Lions'-record 213 in a game against Montreal. After signing Mallett as a free agent this off-season, the Ticats released veteran Avon Cobourne, a top free-agent signing in 2011 who ran for 961 yards for the club last season.
After his breakout CFL campaign, the six-foot, 195-pound Mallett signed a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles to start a two-year roller-coaster ride that saw him spend time with three NFL clubs Cleveland, the Eagles again and the New York Giants — before returning to the CFL.
With Mallett out, the Ticats are now in the market for another running back and there are capable veteran replacements available, including Cobourne, 33. The others include Joffrey Reynolds, the Calgary Stampeders' all-time rushing leader, and Wes Cates, a former Stampeder and Saskatchewan Roughrider.