Saskatchewan Roughriders kicking off 2021 season on Aug. 6
The Saskatchewan Roughriders will kick off the 2021 Canadian Football League (CFL) season at Mosaic Stadium on Aug. 6.
The CFL released its full 2021 schedule on Tuesday morning.
The schedule includes 14 regular season games over 16 weeks. No preseason games will be played this year.
The Green and White will take on the BC Lions to open the season in Regina on August 6 at 7:30 p.m.
The Labour Day classic returns to Mosaic Stadium, with the Riders and rival Blue Bombers facing off on Sept. 5.
Saskatchewan's regular season finale will take place in Hamilton on Nov. 20.
The Roughriders’ full 2021 schedule can be found on the team's website.
The team will not be travelling to Ottawa or Toronto this season and as a result, will only play those teams once.
'YOU HAVE TO RESET THINGS'
Roughriders’ starting quarterback Cody Fajardo said after more than 600 days between CFL games, expect some rust on every team when the season does kick off.
“It's going to be not the same CFL football from the get-go, because it's two years, you have to give the players a break,” he said.
“It's a shortened training camp, you have no preseason games, right, so there's a lot of things stacked against the players, but whichever team can get to midseason form fastest, I think will have a chance to make a deep run in the playoffs.”
Fajardo led the league in passing yards in 2019, helping the Riders to a 13-5 record in his first year as a starter in the CFL.
He says it could take some time to adjust to playing football at that level again.
“Being a one year starter, a one year true starter, and then having to sit out for two years, it's almost like you have to reset things,” he said.
“I set the bar pretty high, which I'm glad I did because I wouldn't want it any other way, but there's going to be some high expectations on this team, there's going to be a high expectations on me as a player.”
One of the bigger oddities with the regular season schedule is three consecutive games against the Calgary Stampeders in October, along with the team’s second bye week.
Fajardo says that many games against the same team will be tough on the offences.
“The defense is definitely at the advantage because they can change much quicker than us, implementing new plays for one week,” he said.
This season will also see games being played in potentially colder weather in late November and into December, but Fajardo says he won’t mind.
“The good news about cold weather games is if you're playing in them, that means you're playing for something special,” he said. “You kind of throw that out the window, how cold it is, because you know what the significance is around the game.”
THE CFL RETURNS
The CFL season officially begins on August 5, with a rematch of the 107th Grey Cup between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Hamilton will host the 108th Grey Cup on Dec. 12.
The league announced Monday it voted to begin the 2021 season in August.
Each club is currently in talks with their local governments to determine how many fans will be allowed in stadiums, according to a news release from the league. Teams are expected to release their plans for tickets as the season approaches.