Roughriders getting reinforcements from within
No new faces have made their way to Saskatchewan following the bye week to provide reinforcements for the Roughriders.
While many teams add a player here and there the Roughriders have not but that doesn't mean help isn't on the way. Out of the 13 players on either the one-game or nine-game injured list, eight of them are likely to be ready to play in the coming weeks.
Luca Congi, Cary Koch, and Leron Mitchell all come off the nine-game injured list following this week's game against Winnipeg while Ernie Wheelwright will be available a week later.
Meanwhile, all four players that were sitting on the one-game list going into the bye week have come back healthy as Wes Cates, Hugh Charles, Remond Willis and Chris Graham have all been practicing to begin the week of practice.
Head Coach Ken Miller says it's an added boost to the team, "Their attitude is one of optimism. My attitude, I guess, matches that. The decisions we have to make are good problems to have. We're looking forward for those men to be ready to play."
Running back Wes Cates believes he should be close to ready to play on Sunday against Winnipeg. It will be his first game back since injuring his ankle in Week Four against Montreal.
"Obviously when you got all your best guns out there you feel a little more confident about the game. Even if we go with different line-ups at least we have options and the teams know we got backups capable of making plays and that they have to prepare for. It puts a little more worry in our opponents that we're building strength wise and we're getting all our weapons back."
And Cates is a player Miller sees as a vital player to have back in the offense. Cates had 52 touches for over 300 yards and three touchdowns in the four games he was able to play before the injury.
"He brings stability. You can count on him to do everything that he's assigned to do correctly. He's a leadership person that people look up to so there are a lot of positives if he's able to go."
While players like Cates, Willis and Charles could be immediate impacts this week, the team is also looking forward to getting a possible surge in talent next week when they'll take on Winnipeg for the second time in two weeks.
The new Koch
Cary Koch, Luca Congi and Leron Mitchell could all be ready to play after serving their time on the nine-game injured list. While Mitchell and Congi's injuries were carry overs from last season, Koch will miss the first nine games of the year because of a broken thumb suffered in practice just three days before the Roughriders' first game.
"I was looking to have a good year after having a good end to last season, minus losing the Grey Cup. Personally, I wanted to make a difference early and really show the league how I could play. It was a let down getting hurt so early before I could even play."
Koch is allowing the injury to become a good lesson to his teammates by showing them that being positive and fighting through injuries is part of the game.
The receiver will be an added boost to a group of receivers who have been inconsistent through the first eight games of the year.
News and Notes
There is bad news on the injury front. Linebacker Barrin Simpson is questionable this week with a rib injury. Receiver Terrence Nunn will likely miss Sunday's game because of knee injury suffered in Sunday's practice. Nunn's injury will make room for receiver Dallas Baker to make his Roughriders debut. Baker was traded to Saskatchewan from Montreal in exchange for Luc Mullinder in mid-August.
Edited by News Talk Radio's Jamie Nye