November 10, 2018

The Riders and Bombers open the West Division playoffs

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (10-8-0)
at Saskatchewan Roughriders (12-6-0)
Sunday, 3:30 p.m., Mosaic Stadium


THE FORECAST: Environment Canada is calling for a mainly cloudy day with a 30-per-cent chance of flurries and a high of -10 C. The wind is to blow out of the northwest at 30 kilometres per hour, producing a wind chill of -22 in the afternoon.

THE LOWDOWN: The Roughriders and Bombers are to meet for the fourth time in 2018. Saskatchewan won two of the teams’ three regular-season meetings (31-23 on Sept. 2 and 32-27 on Sept. 8), but Winnipeg prevailed in the most-recent outing (31-0 on Oct. 13) … This is the first time the Roughriders and Bombers have met in a playoff game since the 2007 Grey Cup. Saskatchewan won 23-19 on Nov. 25 in Toronto … The last time the Riders and Bombers faced off in the Western Semi-Final was 2003, when Saskatchewan won 37-21 in Winnipeg. The last time they met in the playoffs in Regina was 1975, when the Roughriders prevailed 42-24 in the division semifinal … The Roughriders haven’t played a game since Oct. 27, when they completed their regular-season schedule with a 35-16 victory over the B.C. Lions. Saskatchewan then had a bye in the final week of the regular season. Winnipeg lost its regular-season finale 33-24 to the Edmonton Eskimos on Nov. 3.

THE RIDERS’ ROSTER: Quarterback Zach Collaros left the Roughriders’ game against the Lions early in the second quarter after taking a high hit from B.C. defensive end Odell Willis. Collaros has been cleared to play in this contest, which would be his 15th start of the season. He went 10-4-0 in the regular season … Brandon Bridge, David Watford and Drew Tate are on the roster as the backups … Tre Mason has been placed on the one-game injured list after suffering a leg injury against the Lions, so Cameron Marshall and Marcus Thigpen will be the tailback tandem Sunday. Marshall rushed for a career-high 134 yards against the Lions after relieving Mason and Thigpen is relatively fresh after sitting out the past two games … Saskatchewan’s receiving corps gets a new look, with Jordan Williams-Lambert sliding outside to replace Shaq Evans (who has been placed on the one-game injured list). That opens up a starting slotback spot for Naaman Roosevelt, who was a backup against the Lions … Roosevelt didn’t catch a pass against B.C., ending his streak of consecutive games with at least one reception at 50 … The rest of the starting receivers are the same, with K.D. Cannon as the other wideout and Patrick Lavoie and Kyran Moore as the other slotbacks. Rob Bagg, Caleb Holley and Brian Jones are the backups … Saskatchewan’s offensive line remains the same, with Brendon LaBatte at centre, Josiah St. John and Philip Blake as the guards, Thaddeus Coleman and Takoby Cofield as the tackles and Braden Schram as the sixth man … Cory Johnson, who was signed Nov. 2 after being released just days earlier by the Bombers, is to start at defensive tackle for the Roughriders in place of Lavar Edwards (one-game injured list). Johnson joins tackle Zack Evans and ends Charleston Hughes and Willie Jefferson in the starting unit, with Tobi Antigha, Chad Geter, Curt Maggitt, Jordan Reaves and Eddie Steele as the backups … The players who rotate at linebacker — Sam Eguavoen, Kevin Francis, Sam Hurl, Cameron Judge and Derrick Moncrief — can expect to see a lot of Bombers tailback Andrew Harris on Sunday … The secondary features the same starting five as the final regular-season game, with Crezdon Butler and Nick Marshall on the corners, Ed Gainey and Loucheiz Purifoy as the halfbacks and Mike Edem at safety. Jovon Johnson, who has been serving as the sixth man, has been placed on the one-game injured list … Kicker Brett Lauther once again faces his mentor, Winnipeg kicker Justin Medlock. The two were teammates with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2014 and still talk regularly … Punter Josh Bartel and long-snapper Jorgen Hus are the Roughriders’ other specialists.

Click here for the full depth chart
Click here for the game notes