Back to square one. Roughriders forced to adjust at left tackle once again


Left tackle for the Saskatchewan has been proof of why the team writes their depth charts in pencil and not in stone.

Heading into the season, the Roughriders had pegged Jerald Hawkins for the starting role. After spending time with the team in training camp, Hawkins left the team to attend to a personal matter. He returned to the team for their Week 3 matchup in Calgary but suffered a quad injury. Head Coach Craig Dickenson confirmed on Monday’s edition of the SportsCage with Michael Ball that Hawkins will be out of Saskatchewan’s lineup for an extended amount of time.

Jordan Tucker was another possible option before the season started. But he suffered a significant leg injury in Saskatoon before he got an opportunity.

Canadian Philip Blake lined up at left guard but shifted to tackle following Hawkins’s departure.  Blake went down with a torn pectoral muscle injury  during the spring that will likely keep him out of the remainder of the season.

Brandon Council signed with the Roughriders following the departure of Tucker in May. He started the first two games during the regular season at left tackle and will get another chance as a starter this week.

He said it’s always tough to see a teammate like Hawkins go down like he did in Calgary.

“It’s a professional business, you hate it, that’s a great guy, great character, you never want to see no one get hurt or anything like that. He’s our brother, we love him, we’re going to be there for him, but you know in pro football they say it’s next man up, so you got to be ready.”

Dickenson said when Hawkins took over the starting position from Council, it was not a situation where the Auburn product played himself out of a spot. That is something that Council agrees with.

“I just come out here and do what I’m told, play to the best of my ability and what they decide is what they decide.”

Council will be starting beside Evan Johnson, who has become a fixture at left guard for Saskatchewan. Last season, the former University Saskatchewan Huskie played right guard with Logan Ferland at left guard. Johnson said it was a change the team made in the offseason that has paid dividends earlier this season.

“It doesn’t bother us either way as long as we’re playing and having fun and being able to move some d-linemen around.

During the Roughriders win against the Stampeders, it was Ferland who filled in at left tackle. Johnson felt the Melfort product showed off his versatility in the win.

“Logan Ferland is a dog, going from right guard to left tackle, have to switch your technique, switch your hips, so it’s crazy out there, he’s a high calibre human out there, he’s able to get the job done.”

Ferland is back at right guard this week, but the rest of the offensive line could also change. Centre Peter Godber has been battling a hand injury and will miss this week’s game. Logan Bandy will start in his place. Bandy filled Ferland’s spot at right guard when he moved to left tackle in Calgary.

Saskatchewan could also revert at right tackle as well this week. Eric Lofton started the first two games of the season before giving way to Colin Kelly, who was serving his two-game suspension from the 2022 season. Kelly started against the Stampeders but has been battling an illness that has affected a couple of players this week.

When the Roughriders defeated the Elks in Week 1, it was Council and Lofton at tackle for the Roughriders.


Practice Notebook

  • It was a closed practice on Tuesday. It appears that safety Jayden Dalke will be back in the lineup, he missed the Week 3 win in Calgary with a back injury.
  • Receiver Jake Wieneke will be out on Thursday with a knee injury. Linebacker Matt Dean will also missed this week’s game with a foot injury.
  • Among the players that are questionable this week are defensive tackle Micah Johnson (Hip), Brett Lauther (Leg).


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