VANCOUVER — Samuel Giguère missed most of training camp with a hamstring injury, returned Aug. 19 at Toronto, has played three games and hasn’t been the same since.
The speedy Canadian receiver has caught a sole six-yard pass. But he has been targeted eight times in total and has been guilty of several dropped balls.
But rather than throwing him to the wolves, Alouettes head coach Jacques Chapdelaine is determined to stick with Giguère, at least for the time being, heading into Friday night’s game against the British Columbia Lions (10 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN Radio-690).
“Our plan all along was to see Sam as a starter,” Chapdelaine said this week. “He had a couple of games where things obviously didn’t go the way he would have liked. At the same time, you don’t give up on poor or sub-par performances. He missed a lot of snaps in camp. I remember him being very significant in what we did last year.
“Players don’t go bad all of a sudden. We want to make sure his confidence level continues.”
Giguère, 32, now is in his third season with the Als and sixth overall in the Canadian Football League. While the argument could be made he has been largely underused over his career, he contributed more significantly over the final six games in 2016 after Chapdelaine replaced Jim Popp as coach.
Giguère caught 36 passes for 440 yards last season, but 12 of those receptions came following the coaching change, along with all but one of his five touchdowns.
The Als are well into their schedule, but considering the amount of time Giguère missed, it would be similar to him being in early-season form. He said the injury affected him more than he anticipated.
“These last few games have been tough,” he admitted. “The drops and mistakes are behind me. There’s nothing I can do about it, just work hard and have a positive attitude.