It was a bittersweet start to the week for the Saskatchewan Roughriders as they returned to practice following their bye week.
The good news is that offensive linemen Dan Clark and Logan Ferland along with receiver Duke Williams returned to the field today after all three missed significant time recently due to injuries.
On the negative side, running back Frankie Hickson was not practicing on Monday. It was revealed by head coach Craig Dickenson later in the afternoon that Hickson will likely miss the rest of the season with a fracture in his hand. Dickenson believes the injury occurred a couple of weeks ago. With Jamal Morrow already sidelined, Shaun Wilson, and Kienan LaFrance are the current healthy running backs at the Riders disposal.
Clark is hoping to return to the Riders lineup on Friday after being sidelined with a broken fibula that he suffered in Edmonton against the Elks on June 18. The 34 year old said after recovering from his single vehicle accident back in 2019, recovering from a broken fibula was not as big of an issue.
The Riders centre said he was pushed in his recovery by receiver Shaq Evans who was also recovering from a significant injury in the beginning part of the season.
“Being having us work together was pretty much the best situation to put myself in allow me to keep driving Shaq to be better mentally and everything like that and put myself in the situation of seeing the things that he can do and the things I wanted to do.”
The Riders are hoping another receiver that will be making a return off the injured list this week is Williams. The former Auburn Tiger has been out of the Saskatchewan lineup since August 19 with ankle and hip injuries. With the return of Williams to the Riders lineup, it would mark the first time this season the green and white receiving core including Kian Schaffer-Baker, Shaq Evans, Kyran Moore, Brayden Lenius and Williams, will be fully in tact and on the field for the Roughriders.
During his absence from the lineup, Williams took a bench penalty during the Riders loss against the Bombers at the Labour Day Classic. The receiver said he apologized to his team for his actions.
“That won’t define who I am.” said Williams, adding that with the incident is in his rear view mirror since it occurred weeks ago.
Following the Riders recent loss to the Edmonton Elk, Dickenson said Williams spoke in front of the team after the game. The Riders receiver said he didn’t have to say anything, but added that he wanted to do.
“It’s like we letting this outside noise get to us, that’s not us, they don’t know what’s going on in our locker room. ” He added “I got my teammates back good, bad or wrong and we got a great team, we just got to put it together and it’s never too late so what we got to what we suppose to do, trust and believe in each other.”
With the Riders getting back to full strength at offensive line and at receiver, Williams thinks the key for the offence is to build some rhythm in practice and carry over that rhythm into the game on Friday night in Winnipeg against the Blue Bombers.
Ferland has been out of the Riders lineup after suffering a back injury after the Labour Day Classic against the Bombers which has kept the left guard out of the lineup over the last couple of weeks.
This week, the Riders are practicing at the University of Regina with the Miyo-Wiciwitowin Day celebrations taking place at Mosaic Stadium on Thursday this week.
On Friday, the green and white will look to rebound into the win column when they meet the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Opening kickoff on 620 CKRM is 6:00.