Banged up Riders heading to Montreal looking for fourth straight win
Following a statement victory last week, the 4-3 Roughriders are looking to stay hot heading into a matchup against a surging Montreal Alouettes team on Friday.
“It’s gonna be ugly, I think it’s going to be a grind it out game,” said Riders Head Coach Craig Dickenson. “We know it’s going to be a tough place to play, they seem to have a little bit of momentum, they seem to have a little bit of belief now and so our guys I think are aware it’s going to be a tough game.”
The Riders are banged up on both sides of the ball with some starters remaining out of practice on Wednesday.
Defensive lineman Micah Johnson will not be making the trip to Quebec, out with an ankle sprain.
Dickenson also remained non-committal on the status of defensive back Louchiez Purifoy, defensive lineman A.C. Leonard and receiver Shaq Evans, and said the group of injured starters will be game time decisions.
Dickinson said Purifoy injured his ankle in practice on Tuesday, Leonard has a shoulder issue and Evans is still nursing an ankle injury sustained earlier in the week.
The Riders have a couple of options to fill Evans' spot in the receiver group.
Canadian Rookie Justin McInnis took a majority of first string snaps at practice on Wednesday, and it would be his second start of the season if he gets the call on Friday. Born in Quebec, Mcinnis will be playing in his first game back home in front of his family.
He said his first start of the year against Calgary was a good learning experience.
“The game is a little bit faster, it moves fast, but at the same time if you just stick to what you’ve been doing at practice then everything will go the way you planned,” said McInnis “It’s just really exciting to go back home and play.”
Newly acquired receiver Kenny Stafford is also an option to get some snaps on Friday night if Evans does not play.
“The offense will rotate how they feel, but Stafford will play a lot if [Evans] can’t go,” said Dickenson.
Offensive coordinator Stephen McAdoo knows newly acquired receiver Kenny Stafford from his time in Edmonton, but says it would have to be dire straits for the pass catcher to see a lot of snaps this week after just two days of practice with the team.
“I don’t think anybody really wants to do that, that’s a lot of pressure to put on one guy to know exactly what you’re doing in every situation,” said McAdoo. “But it’s not like it’s never been done before.”
The Riders travelled to Montreal on Wednesday for the Week 9 matchup against the Alouettes, kicking off at 5:00 p.m. on Friday.