The Saskatchewan Roughriders had a surprising name contribute through the air on Friday.
Fullback James Tuck collected three receptions for 29 yards for the green and white in the loss to the Blue Bombers.
For Tuck, it was an enjoyable experience getting some action with the Riders air attack.
“It was fun being a part of the passing game a little bit, we enjoy the dirty work and blocking and establishing the run game but anytime you can help the team out, it’s a fun thing to do.”
Throughout his career, the York product hasn’t collected too many offensive stats. Back in 2019, he picked up his only career rushing attempt for a five yard gain while he was with Edmonton.
In the 2021 season, Tuck had three receptions for 29 yards in 14 games with the Elk.
Riders quarterback Cody Fajardo mentioned a few weeks ago that the team would like to give the fullbacks some more opportunities in the passing game. Tuck says having them involved the offence adds another element to their scheme.
“Often we are expecting a run defence so often times if we switch it up, might get a little different look on defence and sometimes we are forgotten about out there it opens up some passing opportunities.”
The biggest game of the season for the Riders will be coming up on Friday when they meet the Ti-Cats. With the CFL’s crossover playoff rules, both teams are now finding themselves competing for the third seed in eastern playoffs.
One luxury the Roughriders have this week is some continuity on the offensive line with the same five starters back in the lineup for the second straight week. The 32 year old says it’s going to be a big boost for Saskatchewan to have the same five linemen starting on Friday.
“Being out there with the same guys week in and week out and building that camaraderie knowing what’s going on it helps and it comes with reps.”
The Roughriders will be forced to start their fourth different running back of the season when they meet the Tiger-Cats. The fullback says there aren’t too many changes for the blockers even with a new ball carrier.
“Coaches puts in a position to go out there and execute the game plan, so we’re ready to go no matter who is at running back, we’re going to give our best effort to go block for them.”
With the playoff atmosphere that is sure to fill Tim Hortons Field on Friday, Tuck says it’s imperative for the green and white to match the intensity of Hamilton, and to not let up until the final whistle.
“We got to go out there and smack them in the mouth early and often, if we get up, don’t stop, if we get down, forget about it. ”
Friday’s game can be heard on 620 CKRM with Countdown to Kickoff at 2:30, the opening kickoff is 5:30.