The Saskatchewan Roughriders held their final full practice of the week on Thursday with an open workout at Mosaic Stadium.
Duron Carter – who was named the team’s MVP on Wednesday – was unable to comment on the award after Wednesday’s practice because he went home immediately afterwards due to illness.
“I made some tacos. I think I ate some bad sour cream,” Carter laughed. “Just stuff sitting in the fridge, not even looking, so my stomach was hurting yesterday. But I’m back today.”
Carter was asked how it feels to be voted the team’s Most Outstanding Player for 2017.
“It feels great to be recognized,” Carter said. “But nothing’s changed for me. I feel like I could’ve played a lot better. I had five or six games with 12 yards or less so I feel like I could’ve been a lot better.”
Duron was asked if the award is vindication for all he’s been through, including being shown the door by other teams in the past.
“Not at all,” Carter asserted. “I literally haven’t changed one bit. It really shows what they have going on, not what I’ve got going on. I’ve been doing all the same things since I first stepped foot in the CFL.”
Carter and Head Coach Chris Jones continue to meet first thing every morning to discuss team, and personal, issues. Carter said Jones gives a him message that Duron is expected to deliver to his teammates and that’s a relationship he’s never had with a coach before.
“No,” Carter answered. “I never wanted to be the main leader guy in the locker room. That brings so much attention to everything you do all the time and everybody knows me, I’m not trying to make the right decision every time! But it’s definitely made me step up, grow up, and be part of the team. Guys look up to me so I have to set a good example.”
Meanwhile veteran running back Shakir Bell practiced with the Riders for the first time wearing #28. The former Eskimo was signed by the Riders on Wednesday.
“A couple of our guys are down with injury,” Chris Jones explained. “It’s more of a precaution than anything. He knows our offense, we know who he is as a player, and more than anything it just gives us some insurance.”
Jones said Bell will not play this Saturday when the Riders host the Edmonton Eskimos (5:00 pm, TSN, 620 CKRM Rider Radio Network). Jones said earlier this week that Marcus Thigpen will be the team’s starting tailback in Week 20.
“It feels great,” Thigpen said Thursday. “I’ve been sitting out for awhile. I got a taste of it in Hamilton after sitting out for two years. I’m just excited to get going.”