The Saskatchewan Roughriders recently wrapped up their first practice for Sunday’s West Division semifinal against the host Calgary Stampeders. Here are some of the things that caught one’s eye during the workout at Mosaic Stadium:
– Running back/receiver Jock Sanders was back on the field for the first time since suffering a knee injury in a game Sept. 29 against the B.C. Lions. Sanders’ activity Wednesday was limited, but the Roughriders hope he can ramp up his participation as the week goes on and perhaps be ready for Sunday’s game.
– If Sanders can’t go, Brandon West has proved himself capable of playing the dual role. West led the Roughriders with seven catches for 76 yards and nine carries for 36 yards in Saturday’s 17-6 loss to the Lions in the teams’ regular-season finale.
– Punter Chris Milo was on the field Wednesday as well. Milo has been out with a sprained ankle suffered in the Roughriders’ 36-10 victory over the Toronto Argonauts on Oct. 8.
– Newly signed punter Ricky Schmitt displayed a strong leg during Wednesday’s practice when he, Milo and Sandro DeAngelis were punting the ball around. The Roughriders have said they would like to add a punter to the roster to allow DeAngelis to handle only placements and kickoffs instead of all the punting and kicking.
– Defensive back Milt Collins also returned to the practice field Wednesday, although he was limited in his work. He has been sidelined with an arm injury for the past three games.
– Macho Harris, who played in Saturday’s game, remained active with the defence during practice Wednesday. Whether he starts Sunday is up in the air.
– Receiver Jordan Sisco also took part in parts of Wednesday’s practice. Sisco has been sidelined since August with a wrist injury.
– None of the Roughriders’ nominees for league awards advanced to the third round of voting. As MOP nominee Weston Dressler put it later: “I’m not too worried about it.” Head coach Corey Chamblin, however, suggested he might use that to motivate his charges.
– Chamblin wasn’t willing to make any more guarantees about stopping Stampeders tailback Jon Cornish, but Roughriders middle linebacker Joe Lobendahn said he will do all he can to limit the league’s leading rusher in Sunday’s contest.
That’s about it. For stories on the nominations, the week off enjoyed by some of the Roughriders’ key players, and a collection of notes, see Thursday’s Leader-Post.