It’s fair to say Ka’Deem Carey never got a real chance to show what he could do in the NFL, first because of the personnel choices of the team that drafted him and later injury issues.
But given an opportunity to start over in Canada, the former Arizona Wildcats running back is showing just what he’s capable of. And Saturday night was the pinnacle of Carey’s time north of the border, as he scored two touchdowns—one on offense and one on special teams—for the Calgary Stampeders in their 30-23 road loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Carey blocked a Hamilton punt and returned it four yards for a TD in the second quarter, giving Calgary a 13-0 lead at the time. Then midway through the fourth quarter he scored on a 3-yard run to tie the game at 23, only to see Hamilton go on a nine-play, 73-yard drive for the game-winning score immediately after.
For the season Carey has scored three times, including last week against Saskatchewan when he ran for 63 yards on 13 carries. He has been with the Stampeders since last October but did not play in 2018, returning to the field this summer for the first time since the 2016 season when he was with the Chicago Bears.
The Bears took Carey in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL draft and he appeared in 14 games as a rookie, but in three seasons with Chicago he had only one start and 111 carries for 443 yards and two TDs. Cut by the Bears at the start of the 2017 season, he opted to spend the rest of that year rehabbing a wrist injury that contributed to his release.
Carey, 26, is Arizona’s career rushing leader, running for 4,239 yards and 48 TDs from 2011-13. As a sophomore in 2012 he led FBS with 1,929 rushing yards.