Williams, Purifoy expected back for Riders West Semi-Final game
Major pieces for the Saskatchewan Roughriders on both sides of the ball are expected to be back for Sunday's western semi final.
Defensive back Loucheiz Purifoy and wide receiver Duke Williams were off for Saturday's regular season closer against Hamilton. Both returned to practice Wednesday.
According to head coach Craig Dickenson, Purifoy is game-ready after injuring his ankle against Edmonton.
"He's been rehabbing it and treating it, if he's not 100 per cent he's close to 100 per cent," Dickenson said. "We expect him to play in the game."
As for Williams, he's also expected to be at or near 100 per cent come Sunday.
"He looked fine today, we didn't do much today but I think he's going to be just fine," said Dickenson.
Quarterback Cody Fajardo said that the role Williams plays both on the offence and his veteran presence in the locker room is a key piece for the team.
"I remember [Williams] telling me going into this week, saying this is the reason I signed here, I have an opportunity to make a run to the Grey Cup," said Fajardo. "He totally believes it. He makes guys around him believe it."
The injury front isn't all good news for the green and white. Mid-season signee Ricardo Louis is out for the rest of the season after undergoing ACL surgery on Wednesday. He'll be replaced in the lineup by Paul McRoberts.
Kyran Moore also underwent surgery this week and said in a Tweet it went well.
The team also reacted to the CFL All-Star list after Wednesday's practice which included Riders Micah Johnson and Nick Marshall, who both say it's an honour to be named an all-star but felt more green and white should have been represented on the list.
“It’s kind of a bittersweet thing. I think a lot of guys deserve it, and some guys felt like they deserve it. So although I got it I wish a few of my other brothers could’ve got it with us," Johnson said.
For Fajardo, it means his team feels it has something to prove.
"It seems like all year people have been bashing us and just finding a way to point out all the negatives and we just continue to win football games. There's a lot of teams out there that would give anything to be in the position we're at," Fajardo said. "The guys are excited in that locker room. With some guys getting snubbed in the all-star it's just going to add a little bit of motivation. Little bit more chip on their shoulder."
"We're going to have a team that's going to be flying around and got something to prove. That can be a dangerous thing at times," Fajardo said.
The chance to make their case begins Sunday afternoon at Mosaic Stadium.