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'It's been a struggle': Riders' Hickson speaks on being in and out of lineup this season

It has been a revolving door for Saskatchewan Roughriders’ running back Frankie Hickson this season who has been in and out of the lineup since Week 1.

“It’s been a struggle and that’s just being honest,” he said. “I view it now as only getting stronger and, you know, there were some things I needed to take care of personally even. Maybe being able to step away from football for a second allowed me to take care of things that in my opinion are more important.”

Hickson was in the lineup behind Jamal Morrow for the first two games of the season before being sidelined with a shoulder injury.

He then returned in Week 4, was a game-time decision in Week 5, and continued in the lineup until Week 7. After that, he was taken out during Weeks 8, 9, and 10. He then returned in Week 11, before once again not suiting up in Week 12. However, he did get back in in last week’s matchup against Edmonton.

Hickson has been out of the lineup for the most part due to the team shuffling around to meet the Canadian ratio.

“It’s tough because first of all, he’s a good football player and I know he could help us and he’s a good dude too,” said head coach Craig Dickenson. “But they only allow us to dress 45 and unfortunately it hasn’t worked out to be able to dress two American running backs [at times].”

“I’ve been through some struggles in football and life and this year’s been no different. But at the same time, everything that God allowed in my life has been preparation for today. No matter what happens on the day to day basis, you’re just prepared,” said Hickson.

Last season, Morrow and Hickson were amongst some of the top running backs in the league. This year, the Riders are struggling on the run game front as they sit eighth out of nine teams in rushing yards.

“I do feel like we have a good run game but for some reason, we’ve had those one or two plays that are negative. So the emphasis this week is basically, let’s eliminate the negative run plays. And if it’s a bad run, it’s a three yard run as opposed to a minus,” said Dickenson.

While Hickson has been out of the lineup, Canadian Thomas Bertrand-Hudon has been listed as the primary backup to Morrow. Bertrand-Hudon has suited up for every game so far this season, recording six carries for 59 yards.

“It’s a lose-lose situation in a way. I mean, I’m happy I’m going in but I’m mad because I feel like Frankie should get his shot. So I just have to work with the opportunities too,” said Bertrand-Hudon. “I honestly think, just like I said at the beginning of the season, I think we got the best group [of running backs] in the league. I got two great bests in front of me [in Morrow and Hickson].”

Who will dress at running back against Ottawa is still up in the air this week as Jamal Morrow has yet to practice due to a knee injury. Dickenson still remains optimistic he could be in the lineup this week. But the team will be in tough shape no matter who they put on the field as Ottawa is second in the league when it comes to stopping the run.

“They’re definitely stout. They’re a bunch of guys that work hard, they’re a bunch of guys who do their assignment, and they have a good coaching staff out there in Ottawa as well,” said Hickson.

The Riders will hold their final (closed) practice Wednesday before flying to Ottawa for Friday’s game. Top Stories

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