May 26, 2018

The Roughriders open the pre-season in Edmonton

Derek Elvin/Electric Umbrella

Saskatchewan Roughriders
at Edmonton Eskimos
Sunday, 3 p.m., Commonwealth Stadium

THE FORECAST: Environment Canada is calling for a mainly sunny day with a high of 26 C.

THE LOWDOWN: The Roughriders and Eskimos are to meet in the first pre-season game for both teams — and the first contest for every CFL club. The next game on the exhibition schedule occurs Thursday, when the Montreal Alouettes visit the Ottawa Redblacks … Some have questioned the wisdom of making teams play a game after only one week of training camp, but Roughriders head coach-GM Chris Jones is among those who likes it. He has said during camp that the contest will allow the coaching staff to see earlier how players perform in a game instead of having to wait another week.

THE RIDERS’ ROSTER: A number of veterans won’t be playing, including defensive linemen Zack Evans, Charleston Hughes, Willie Jefferson and Eddie Steele, defensive backs Crezdon Butler, Mike Edem, Ed Gainey and Jovon Johnson, receivers Rob Bagg and Chad Owens and tailback Jerome Messam … Because training camp is only one week old, the Roughriders are still in evaluation mode. As a result, the majority of the quarterbacking is expected to be done by B.J. Daniels, David Watford and Marquise Williams so that the order behind Zach Collaros and Brandon Bridge can be set … With Messam sitting, the Roughriders will look at the players vying to be the backup. That means internationals Josh McPhearson, Zac Stacy and Marcus Thigpen and national Bryce Vieira will handle the load … So far in camp, the offensive line has featured two new starters (right guard Travis Bond and left tackle Terran Vaughn) joining three returnees (centre Dan Clark, left guard Brendon LaBatte and right tackle Thaddeus Coleman). Some of the backups will get playing time Sunday, including Emmanuel Adusei, Dariusz Bladek and Jarvis Harrison … The receiving corps is stacked with veterans, but newcomers Shaq Evans, Kyran Moore and Jordan Williams-Lambert have been pushing the returnees. The CFL rookies will look to continue that Sunday … With four starting defensive linemen out, veterans Tobi Antigha, Makana Henry and Jordan Reaves will be joined in Edmonton by rookies Tresor Mafuta, Chad Geter, Justin Horton, Curt Maggitt, Johnny Maxey and Arthur Miley … The starting linebacking corps in camp has featured Sam Hurl in the middle flanked by Sam Eguavoen and Derrick Moncrief. Nationals Alexandre Chevrier, Adrian Clarke, Dillon Grondin and Cameron Judge and internationals Kalen Jackson, Eric Striker, Gary Wilkins and Sam Williams could see action Sunday … Rookie DBs including Orlandus Harris, Rudy Johnson and Nick Marshall have been impressive in camp and will try to continue their strong play during Sunday’s contest … Kicker Brett Lauther and long-snapper Alexandre Gagne will handle those duties in the absences of Tyler Crapigna and Jorgen Hus, respectively. Josh Bartel will be Saskatchewan’s punter.

Click here for the full depth chart and roster