Injured Riders face crippled Stamps

The Riders injury list for Week 4 is substantial. And with the short time between games, it required a lot of changes on the fly.

Blace Brown comes onto the roster for the first time to replace boundary CB Nick Marshall (ankle). WR K.D. Cannon (groin) sits down, and first-round pick Justin McInnis gets his first start. LT Takoby Cofield is out up to a month, according to coach Craig Dickenson. So Terran Vaughn moves into that spot. And maybe the biggest impact is K Brett Lauther’s groin injury. The Riders will go with 23-year-old rookie Gabe Ferraro to replace their special teams star.

“Tuesday night, I was driving home,” says Ferraro. “I was working, then I was driving home and I got the call from my agent and then from Mr. O’Day. And here I was Wednesday morning.”

Ferraro learned he was starting when the depth chart came out Friday morning.

“I’ve been waiting 10 years for this day. This is what I’ve been dreaming of. So I can’t wait.”

Ferraro is the USports record holder for field goals in a career with 91. He was in Stampeders camp the last two seasons. Saturday will be his first regular-season game.

One change not related to injury is at middle linebacker. Solomon Elimimian will get his first start in green. He missed 14 games last year with a wrist injury, leading to his release from the Lions. Now, Rider fans will get to see Elimimian up close.

And it’s another chance to watch QB Cody Fajardo put his stamp on this team. In his first two starts he’s thrown for 790 yards and 4 TDs–a Riders record.

As for the Stampeders, their list of injured continues to grow:

  • QB Bo Levi Mitchell (pectoral, 6-game)
  • RB Don Jackson (concussion, 6-game)
  • REC Juwan Brescacin (concussion, 1-game)
  • HB Brandon Smith
  • DE Ivan McLennan (knee, out for season)
  • REC Hergy Mayala

That’s on top of players they lost to free agency. We asked Riders DT Micah Johnson to name the best players from last year’s Stampeders defence. The six names he mentioned (he had to be prompted to include himself) all left as free agents. It’s clear that this Stampeders team–at least the defense–doesn’t much resemble the 2018 Grey Cup champions.

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