Sports Raiders ‘hit some more’ as six starters missed Sunday practice with injuries

Raiders ‘hit some more’ as six starters missed Sunday practice with injuries

Raiders ‘hit some more’ as six starters missed Sunday practice with injuries

Photo: Timothy Matvey/3townNation. All rights reserved.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders may have enjoyed a much-needed rest in Week 4, but injury woes haven’t helped them yet.

When the team returned to practice on Sunday, 10 players were unable to participate in team activities with three sessions remaining until they faced the Edmonton Elks.

Head coach Craig Dickenson said: “We’re a little more encouraged.” Regina admitted to the media. “Some of the guys who missed flights are coming back, that’s part of it. But the guys that got hit, we’re trying to figure out if we can get them back this week.”

The two players stuck in traffic were defensive end Pete Robertson and defensive back Amari Henderson, but eight other players were out with medical issues, including six starters.

Gerald Hawkins, who was blown out during the Week 3 win over the Calgary Stampeders, was the worst. Dickenson told reporters the 29-year-old former NFL draft pick stayed home after the break and is scheduled to have quadriceps surgery, which will keep him out of the lineup for an extended period.

After Hawkins went down, Saskatchewan’s offensive line got credit for a poor play-by-play performance, with left guard Logan Ferland punting outside the perimeter and Logan Bondy bringing it inside. However, more changes may be needed this week, as neither center Peter Godper (hand) nor right tackle Colin Kelly (illness) will be taking reps on Sunday.

The Raiders are already short on forwards due to a season-ending pectoral muscle strain suffered by Canadian veteran Phillip Blake. Still, Dickenson thinks they can make do with what they have, at least in the short term.

“Everybody cares about their offensive line, and we’re in that group, but I think it’s a good group. They play very hard and play well together. I think they are well trained by coach Vitale», he said.

“As long as we have enough bodies, we’ll be fine, but I think we’re a little thin. Hopefully we can be a bit healthier in the coming weeks.”

The offensive line wasn’t the only one affected, as star defensive end Anthony Lanier (foot) and linebacker Rolan Milligan (back) also sat out along with defensive backs Matt Dean (foot) and Rodney Clemons (ankle). Offensively, the obvious one is receiver Jake Wyneck (knee).

The prized free-agent firm was relatively quiet at the start of the year, recording 12 receptions for 111 yards. However, the lost time can be a blow to the passing game.

“I still keep my faith. We’ll know more tomorrow, but we’ll see,” Dickenson said. “I am optimistic. He’s feeling better so we’ll see what the doctor says and go from there.

In good news earlier in the week, quarterback Trevor Harris fully participated in the bye week, citing rib issues. Safety Jayden Dahlke (back) was a limited entrant and is headed for an early return after a cautionary stint on the six-game disabled list.

Although it was not reflected in the number of players on the field, Dickenson felt that the bye week rejuvenated his team.

“Today was not our most intense day by any means, but it was a good and exciting practice and I feel like the guys are ready to come back and get to work.”

The Raiders (2-1) host the Elks (0-4) on Thursday, July 6 at 9:00 pm EDT.

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