After three weeks back with the Riders, receiver Jordan Williams-Lambert will get his first start of the season.
He will take Manny Arceneaux’s place in the starting lineup when the Riders host the Bombers on Saturday.
“It’s exciting,” says Williams-Lambert. “I’m just going to try and add a little bit of play-making and try and continue to be a part of their offence and not necessarily disrupt it–be a new piece to the offence.”
It may be taking a week longer than fans wanted. Head Coach Craig Dickenson says Williams-Lambert is right on schedule.
“We had a plan all along that it was going to be Jordan for Manny when we felt Jordan was ready,” says Dickenson.
Dickenson adds that the coaches were upfront with Arceneaux.
“We didn’t try to B.S. him at all. We told him we were going to dress Jordan, and it was going to be for his spot. And the next week after that, it may be for someone else. We felt like we need to get Jordan out there and see what he can do.”
For Arceneaux–who just had his best statistical game, including his first touchdown–it’s tough to be relegated to the bench.
“Yeah, yeah it is,” says Arceneaux. “But you think that’s pretty much how my whole year has sorta been–dealing with the injury. I come in ready to play, and then you find out you’re not playing. It’s the waiting game, so you do play, now I’m not making the big plays that I made my entire career. So the whole year’s just been a humbling experience for me, teaching me patience.”
Whatever disappointment Arceneaux feels, he didn’t show it at practice. He was talkative, and was seen helping Williams-Lambert with tips during and after practice.
“It’s just part of the business. If I can help him in any kind of way, that’s what I’m here for,” says Arceneaux.
“We’re in this thing together. My thing is to continue to lead these guys. And when I get the tap on the shoulder again, I need to be ready.”