Hamilton Tiger-Cats running back indicates retirement; club now says he’s been let go


Published February 2, 2023 at 4:58 pm

Don Jackson, who not so long ago was the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ featured rusher during a playoff run, has indicated he is calling it a day as a pro football player.

The 29-year-old running back wrote a social media post on Thursday that indicated he is leaving the Canadian Football League, which came ahead of the team announcing his release a couple of hours later. Jackson signed a two-year contract prior to last season, but the emergence of Wes Hills as Hamilton’s No. 1 back left him as the odd man out. The former Green Bay Packers NFL player and one-time Grey Cup champion — as the backfield mate of new Tiger-Cats quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell with the 2018 Calgary Stampeders — dressed only twice over the final 10 weeks of the season.

“It’s time to move on to my next chapter,” Jackson, who hails from Sacramento, Calif., wrote on Twitter. “Thank you Hamilton! Thank you Calgary! Thank you Canada! I appreciate the love and support over the years and I am grateful for every single person I connected with.”

Counting playoffs, Jackson appeared in 17 of Hamilton’s 36 games over two seasons in black and gold. His finest hours with Hamilton came in 2021, including a career-best 120-yard rushing performance in a late-October win against the Edmonton Elks, and a 95-yard day when the Tiger-Cats rallied in the second half on the road to defeat the Toronto Argonauts in the East final. He followed that up with a 59-yard game in the 2021 Grey Cup at Tim Hortons Field, when the host Tiger-Cats lost 33-25 against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in overtime.

Hamilton was sporadic in both the passing and rushing elements of offence through the initial stages of last season. Jackson rushed for 299 yards but averaged 3.8 per attempt. Hills featured in only six of 18 games, but that was enough time for him to churn out a team-most 384 yards with a 5.6 average. Sean Thomas Erlington has also filled the essential role as the Canadian change-of-pace back.

For his CFL career, Jackson rushed for 1,714 yards with a 5.0-per-attempt average and nine total touchdowns. He spent two years in the NFL with Green Bay.

News of Jackson’s move was first reported by 3DownNation.

The apparent retirement announcement comes a dozen days before the start of the CFL free agency period. Unsigned players can try the open market at 12 noon on Feb. 14.

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising