Football: Giguère gets first NFL touches in Buffalo

A mini-research project might be in order now that Sam Giguère has made his NFL regular-season debut with the Indianapolis Colts.

The former Sherbrooke standout has his name in the record book after returning five kickoffs for 122 yards in Indy's otherwise nothing game in blizzardy Buffalo. He did not record a pass reception, but considering it was in the near-whiteout conditions and comically callow clipboard carrier Curtis Painter was sort of quarterbacking the Colts, that's no surprise.

Most CIS diehards were aware Giguère was going to suit up as the Colts rested their starters. David Naylor noted it might have CIS-in-NFL history:
"Too bad former University of Calgary offensive lineman Dan Federkeil is on injured reserve for Indy. Had he been playing today, I believe the Colts would be the first NFL team ever to dress two former CIS players for a game."
There is no quick way to find out, but a few minutes on Pro-Football-Reference reveals the 1987 L.A. Raiders suited up two players from Canadian universities, Brian Belway (Calgary) and Rick Goltz (UBC and Simon Fraser, then an NAIA team). Each appeared in only one game that season, when the NFL used replacement players during a strike. It is not recorded whether they dressed for the same game. It might not be worth making a big to-do over, seeing as that was a dark chapter in the NFL's history.

P-F-R lists 89 Canadian-born players, although there are some obvious oversights. New York Jets rookie linebacker Jamaal Westerman, who spent his final three years of high school in Brampton, Ont., is not listed. (Three years, that's enough!) Jerome Pathon, who played for Acadia and later went on to an eight-year NFL career as a receiver with several teams, isn't listed due to being born in South Africa.

Anyhow, anyone is welcome to look to see if it has ever happened. Jesse Lumsden suited up for an exhibition game with Seattle in 2004 when McGill grad J.P. Darche was the Seahawks long snapper, but it has to be regular season.

(Fun factoid: A Canadian named Ted Williams played halfback for the Boston Yanks in 1944 when a better-known Ted Williams who played for a Boston team away serving in the U.S. military. The Canadian Ted likely wasn't in Boston long enough to take advantage of the coincidence. How weird is it Boston had a team with the same name as its baseball rival?)
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