It’s pure business for Roughriders WR Jake Wieneke and KR Mario Alford in their return to Montreal



Even though Trevor Harris won’t be suiting up for the Saskatchewan Roughriders (4-4) tonight when they meet the Montreal Alouettes(4-3), there are a couple of members of the Roughriders who will be returning to their old stomping grounds.

For the first time, wide receiver Jake Wieneke will be on the visiting sidelines at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium. Wieneke spent three seasons in Montreal, including in 2021 when he was named a Canadian Football League (CFL) All-Star.

Reflecting on his in Montreal, the receiver had nothing but good things to say while he was an Alouette.

“I fell in love with the CFL there, just the game of football,  I learned to love it even more, got better, grew up as a man.”

Off the field, “The City of Saints” will always be a special place for Wieneke and his family.

“Really a second home for a family, me and my wife got married about a week before my rookie season, so pretty much our whole married life, I got to spend a lot time there and it really became home.”

Jake Wieneke as a member of the Alouettes . Photo provided by Canadian Press.

Heading back to Montreal, Wieneke isn’t using the matchup against his old team as extra motivation for himself.

“I mean, I think every game you played you want to win, so not different from any other game, I’m looking forward to it, I get to play my old teammates.”

Along with Wieneke, returner Mario Alford will make his first appearance in Montreal as a member of the Roughriders.

Last July, the Alouettes sent Alford to Saskatchewan in a trade that paid off for the green and white as the Greenville, Georgia product went on to win the 2022 Most Outstanding Special Teams Player of the Year award.

The former Alouette says there are no hard feelings against his former team, but unlike Wieneke there’s still plenty of motivation for the Roughriders returner for tonight.

“It’s always going to be a little tension there.”

Alford added, “But it’s still all love, but I can’t wait to get back, show them what a mistake they made.”

The main reason why the Alouettes deemed Alford expendable was due to the play of Chandler Worthy.  Last year, the 29-year-old had three returns for touchdowns, including a pair against Saskatchewan. Worthy was named an Eastern Division All-Star and was the Eastern nominee for the Most Outstanding Special Teams Player of the Year which was claimed by Alford.

Even though they will not be lining up on the field against each other, Alford says there’s a sense of competition between the returners.

“We don’t necessarily say it out loud, but people know, people know the game and sport. ”

He pointed out that the focus remains on himself.

“I’m just going to worry about what we got to do and my job and I’ll worry what they got to do. ”

There won’t be much time for sightseeing for the Roughriders during this week’s venture to Montreal. The team left on Thursday afternoon following their walkthrough, and with a late arrival at their hotel, the players had no time to explore the city.

Alford had no problem with the team treating today’s game as a pure business trip.

“This is not a trip where we go and have fun and view the city, we aren’t there for even barely 24 hours, we need to go in and do what we have to do.”


Game Notes

  • Tonight will mark the only time this season the Roughriders will meet the Alouettes during the 2023 CFL regular season.
  • Alouettes QB Cody Fajardo (Shoulder) has been listed as a gametime decision.
  • Montreal will be without running back William Stanback (Hip) and defensive lineman Almondo Sewell (Hip).

Coverage for tonight’s game on 620 CKRM begins with Countdown to Kickoff at 2:30, Rider Nation Pre-Game Show begins at 4:30 and the opening kickoff with Michael Ball and Luc Mullinder is at 5:30.

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