After a crazy week of practice, the Saskatchewan Roughriders will get to turn their attention to a game on Friday night when they head into McMahon Stadium to take on the Calgary Stampeders.
The Riders had to put out fires to start the week after an altercation at practice on Monday. The interesting week then continued on Wednesday when head coach Chris Jones unveiled that the Riders would be starting star receiver Duron Carter, who was involved in Monday’s fight, at cornerback against Calgary.
This all came before a game in which a win will clinch at least a crossover spot for the Riders.
Quarterback Kevin Glenn said there’s a positive vibe in the Riders’ locker room heading into the game despite all the noise surrounding the team this week.
“We’re in a good mood because we know that we’re still in control of our own destiny,” he said. “We don’t want to sit back and wait for other teams to win or lose in order for you to get that opportunity to get into the post-season.”
The move to start Carter at cornerback comes as the Riders deal with injuries to Kacy Rodgers and Chris Lyles, while defensive back Sam Williams, who was also involved in Monday’s fight, is out with the flu.
Head coach Chris Jones said that Carter was their best option and they’re confident that he can get the job done.
“He’s been practicing there all year and if Duron Carter put his mind to it, he could be one of the best DBs in this league,” said Jones. “He’s going to play a bunch of football. He’s going to be a tired young man after this football game.”
Saskatchewan hasn’t won a game against the Stampeders since 2013, including losing both meetings so far this season, while Calgary is unbeaten at home through seven games this season. Glenn said going into McMahon Stadium and coming out with a win is hard, but not impossible.
“You’ve got to give credit to (the Stampeders), those guys come out and fight and have in their mind that they’re not going to lose, but they are beatable here,” said Glenn. “I’ve been the visiting quarterback and beat them here when I was in B.C., so it can happen, we’ve just got to make sure that we come out and focus on the details and the things that we need to do in order to win.”
While Glenn may have a tired Carter on offence and no Naaman Roosevelt who is out with an injury, he will have another weapon at his disposal for the first time this season as veteran receiver Chad Owens makes his Rider debut.
Owens signed in Saskatchewan during the offseason, but has been out all season after suffering an injury in training camp.
“I'm just gonna go out there and do my job. When I have an opportunity to make a play, I'm gonna make a play,” said Owens. “I'm happy to be back out here, doing what I love, and I can't wait for Friday night. I can't wait to catch a ball from Kevin Glenn.”
A win on Friday night clinches a playoff spot for the Riders. If they come out on the losing end, Saskatchewan can still clinch with a B.C. Lions loss against Edmonton on Saturday.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Friday night from McMahon Stadium.