The “Predator” is on the loose in Edmonton. After spending a year out of football after his release from the Cincinnati Bengals, Robert Sands joined the Edmonton Eskimos on June 1st after an impressive showing at a mini-camp in May. He joins fellow WVU alums Selvish Capers and Pat White on the roster.
Sands left WVU after his junior season, recording 151 tackles in three season. He was selected by the Bengals in the Fifth Round of the 2011 NFL Draft. As a Mountaineer, he became well-known for his bruising hits on ball carriers, earning the nickname “The Predator.“
He played in one NFL game against the Steelers during his rookie season. He was placed on IR after suffering a chest injury against the Atlanta Falcons during the 2012 preseason and missed the entire season. The Bengals released him in June 2013.
Almost a year to the day following his release, Sands has a chance to bring his hard-hitting nature to the CFL. The team is undergoing a culture change under a new coaching staff. The influence of the NFL game also flows in to Canada. They see the success that the Seattle Seahawks secondary enjoyed using tall, rangy and athletic defenders. The 6’4″ Sands fits that mold, and the Eskimos are eager to use his physicality against opposing receivers.
“It’s that ‘it’ factor,” Sands called it. “Like everyone always talks about. I have that ‘it’ factor in me.”
“Robert’s a good kid and we look forward to coaching him,” defensive coordinator Chris Jones said of the WVU product.
The Eskimos begin their preseason this Friday against the B.C. Lions at 9:00 p.m. EDT.