After a pre-season with a fairly empty stadium, the Saskatchewan Roughriders club is hoping Rider Nation helps fill Mosaic Stadium for the 2014 regular season.
Rider President and CEO Jim Hopson admits that weather plays the biggest role in how many fans are in the stands come game day. However, Hopson admitted the extremely low numbers during this pre-season were surprising.
"It's disappointing. We really count on the crowd to help our team, support our team...but I think this next game will be a better showing for our Rider fans."
It's a story Sam Hurl knows all too well.
During the Riders second and final pre-season game, projected-starting-middle linebacker Chad Kilgore left the game with a broken thumb. The injury placed Kilgore on the injured list and will keep him on the shelf for at least the next six weeks.
That means the starting middle linebacker job is now open; this week it looks like Hurl will get a chance to start the game and work in whatever system Head Coach Corey Chamblin has come up with for him and likely Brian Peters.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders gave 26 players the bad news that they didn't make the 46 man roster.
The biggest news may be more so who made the team than who didn't with many tight battles over the last three weeks.
Running backs Keith Toston and Anthony Allen both made the team as the duo tasked to replace Grey Cup MVP Kory Sheets.
At the end of the day, Vice-President and General Manager Brendan Taman said Jermaine Thomas just didn't perform to the level they expected.
The easy part is over, now comes the hard part for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
The Riders pre-season came to a close on Friday night with a 19-14 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos in a game that featured few memorable moments as pre-season games usually do.
Players on the bubble are hoping what they did on film was memorable enough as it was their last chance to make enough of an impression to earn a job on the team's roster to open the 2014 regular season next week against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
The Riders close out their pre-season this evening against the Edmonton Eskimos at 7 p.m.
Attached the the team's depth chart for the game. A printable version can be found at the bottom of the page.
The Green Zone Pre-Game show gets undeway at 4 p.m. on News Talk Radio. The Post-Game show follows the final whistle where you can share your thoughts by calling 1-877-300-7272, texing 306306 or tweeting @jamienye.
It could be the most important evening in the careers of some young football players.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders host the Edmonton Eskimos tonight at Mosaic Stadium as the pre-season comes to a close. It's game that might not excite all fans, but for some players fighting for jobs, it's a game that could literally change the path of their entire career.
Head coach Corey Chamblin had a message for players who may currently be in the bubble heading into the game.
There are still a number of jobs to be won on the 46-man roster for the Riders but none are more interesting and competitive than finding the man who will carry the rock.
Since Grey Cup MVP Kory Sheets signed with the Oakland Raiders in the off-season, the question has been who will run the ball for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2014. The contenders were narrowed down by two last week after Curtis McNeal and Clifton Smith were released after the Riders first pre-season game. Now it's down to Keith Toston, Anthony Allen and Jermaine Thomas.
Mother Nature threw a wrench into the Riders plans Wednesday morning.
Rather than their usual 11:30 a.m. start time for practice, the team had to push practice back about an hour due to lightning - their last practice of the week before walk through on Thursday ahead of Friday's pre-season final against the Edmonton Eskimos.
Practice is always a no-go when lightning is in the area so when practice time came around, Mosaic Stadium sat empty.
It could be time for Roughriders receiver Jordan Sisco to either stand up or sit down.
Sisco is coming into his fourth season with the green and white after being picked up in the second round of the 2010 draft. But it has hardly been an easy ride for the former University of Regina Ram.
Sisco's career got off to a promising start when he signed with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts. However, that didn't work out and Sisco has been struggling ever since.
It's not surprising that the defensive interior remains a relatively large question mark after the Saskatchewan Roughriders' first pre-season game.
Most of the team's losses during the off season were on the defensive side of the ball. Defensive linemen Keith Shologan and Zack Evans were picked by Ottawa in the expansion draft and Jermaine McElveen re-signed with the Montreal Alouettes. The only player remaining from the starting interior is Tearrius George.