Dickenson hoping to start two Canadian receivers in 2021

August 6th is still a couple of weeks away, but if all goes the way Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach Craig Dickenson wants it to, he will be starting two Canadian receivers on opening night.

Dickenson says it is something he thinks will be done because of the talent they have in that area.

“We feel like we have good Canadian receivers and a lot of them so if we can dress two Canadian receivers it helps our ratio.” Dickenson said. “We are just going to put the best 24 guys out there, but right now that is what we are planning on doing.

The team has six Canadian receivers in camp.  They are 2019 draft picks Justin McInnis and Brayden Lenius,  2020 draft pick Kian Schaeffer-Baker, 2021 draft pick Terrell Jana, 2017 draft pick and former Regina Ram Mitch Picton and Jake Harty.

No matter who starts, they will be getting the ball from Cody Fajardo as he is definitely the starter, but there is competition for the backup spot as incumbent Isaac Harker is being challenged by Paxton Lynch, Mason Fine and Tom Flacco.   Dickenson says Harker isn’t guaranteed the backup spot at this time, but one thing he has going for him is his intelligence.

“He is one of the smartest guys I have been around.  He is intelligent and is thoughtful.  His wisdom is beyond his years.” Dickenson said. “What he has done this last off-season is he has gotten stronger and more athletic.  His body has changed, he looks bigger and stronger than he was in 2019 and he is just as smart.  He has the upper leg on the battle right now because he has a year of his experience under his belt.   We expect a lot of growth between year one and year two so we think Isaac will be much improved.

As for Harker, he says he studied the playbook given to him by new offensive co-ordinator Jason Maas and that with the help of his sister, Tori, he has a firm grasp of the offence and now he just has to go some visualization to physically running the plays in a camp situation with others around.  He even jokes Tori might know the offence as well as anyone because of the work she has put in.

Like many others, being back on the field is something Harker cherishes.

“I respect the game a lot and I have missed it.” Harker said. “Its just about taking the work now that you have put in and showcase your knowledge of the offence whether it be through physical or mental reps.”

Day 5 notes

Receiver Jordan Williams-Lambert was at practice Wednesday but didn’t participate. Dickenson says Williams-Lambert suffered a cut on his hand and that he will miss a week to 10 days.

Tackle Terran Vaughn suffered a shoulder injury on Tuesday and wasn’t seen at practice on Wednesday.

Defensive End Tim Williams will make his debut at Riders camp on Thursday. The 27 year old played 20 games in the NFL with the Ravens and Packers. Linebacker Gary Johnson Jr. is returning the team after the birth of a child. He will begin the seven-day Regina part of his quarantine and join the team for practice next week.

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