GM Jeremy O’Day remains confident in Riders WRs despite loss of Schaffer-Baker to begin 2023 season

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are looking to fill a major void for the early part of the season.

Wide receiver Kian Schaffer-Baker, the team’s top wide receiver in 2022 is currently recovering from hip surgery.

Despite the loss of Schaffer-Baker, Saskatchewan Roughriders General Manager and Vice-President of Football Operations Jeremy O’Day thinks the green and white receiving group is still in good shape.

On Wednesday’s edition of the SportsCage, O’Day confirmed to Michael Ball about Schaffer-Baker’s surgery.

O’Day said the team and Schaffer-Baker are hopeful that the procedure solves a nagging issue.

“He’s just excited to have it fixed and start working towards getting back on the field.”

In terms of a timeline for the 24-year-old to be back on the field, O’Day says that remains in question, with a lot of it to be determined with the receiver’s recovery. The Riders GM said the team is bracing to be without Schaffer-Baker for the opening six games of the season.

The Mississauga, Ontario product was just shy of the 1000 yard mark last season, finishing with 980 yards along with 68 receptions and five touchdowns.

O’Day said Saskatchewan changed the outlook of their American receivers this off-season with the signings of Jake Wieneke, Shawn Bane Jr. and Derel Walker.

The Riders general manager added the team has flexibility with the Canadian ratio with players like Brayden Lenius,  Mitchell Picton, 2022 CFL first-round pick Samuel Emilus and Juwan Brescacin.

Other contenders for playing time at wide receiver include Tevin Jones and Jester Weah.

“They’re good football players, they’re going to compete,” said O’Day.

Jones had three touchdowns with Saskatchewan in 2022. The former Memphis Tiger mostly played on special teams, but did see some action on offence over 14 games.

Weah joined Saskatchewan’s practice squad midway through the season after being a late cut at training camp. He played in the Roughriders final two games of the season.

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