Opportunities are always knocking at training camp. For Saskatchewan Roughriders DB/LB C.J. Reavis, his big chance might be on its way sooner than he expected.
Derrick Moncrief is nursing a shoulder injury that might sideline the strongside linebacker for the Roughriders opening game against the Edmonton Elks on June 11.
If Moncrief is out, Reavis would likely assume the starter’s spot in Edmonton.
The 27-year-old spent his first in the Canadian Football League (CFL) season in 2022 playing multi-positions including SAM linebacker, cornerback and halfback.
He believes playing as many positions as possible is the best skill he can bring to Saskatchewan.
“I like being versatile, the more you can do, the more you can help out the team.”
Riders head coach Craig Dickenson says versatility is Reavis’s best attribute.
“Anybody that has versatility who can play numerous positions in the secondary, they have value, if you have an injury at one of them you can sub them in.”
Dickenson noted if Moncrief is unable to go for the start of the season, the team would turn to Reavis to fill the void right now.
“Without Moncrief, Reavis is one linebacker with SAM experience so he’s got a really good shot of playing a lot.”
In 2022, the Chester, Virginia product got his first taste of Canadian Football League action drawing into four games. He said the experience from last season was helpful.
“Last year getting used to the game, getting used to the rules and all of the now I feel more comfortable, feels like I’m playing faster.”
There were a few adjustments Reavis had to make as he made the transition north of the border. He said handling the waggle and motion from the receivers took some time for him to adapt to the CFL.
As a defensive back in the CFL, Reavis believes there are more opportunities to make some plays since there are more passing attempts involved.
Entering his second year with the green and white, Reavis has noticed some changes to the team during training camp in Saskatoon.
“The chemistry of the team this year is just better, the chemistry is way better.”
There are still 2.5 weeks until the Roughriders open up the season in Edmonton against the Elks. Reavis is unsure yet if he will be in the starting lineup in the event of a Moncrief injury but says that he’s preparing to fill an important spot on the Riders defence.
“Doing my job right now until Derrick gets back, and if not I’m ready to go.”
Training Camp Day 10 Notebook
– Trevor Harris is scheduled to fly to Ohio on Wednesday morning to be present for the birth of his third child and will not be in the lineup in the Riders first preseason game. He noted today the Roughriders weren’t planning to play Harris on Saturday.
– Dickenson noted they are still determining how they divvy up the playing time in their preseason opener against the Lions but said the younger players will be receiving a lot of playing time this weekend.
– One positive the Riders head coach saw from his team on Tuesday was the team’s energy. He added the execution was sloppy at times but believes the players are anxious to see some game action this weekend against BC.