The Riders are going to have a lot of tools back in the toolbox for Sunday’s game against Calgary – including one that many weren’t expecting.
Standout returner Christion Jones has been pulled off the six-game injured list and head coach Chris Jones said he’ll be in the lineup on Sunday.
“He’s a great player, he played in Alabama so I watched him very closely and he’s a double digit returner down there, so we know what we’re getting and we’re hoping that he’s ready to go,” coach Jones said after Friday’s practice.
Christion injured his shoulder when the Riders played Edmonton in August, and despite only playing three games had been quite successful averaging 18 yards on punt returns and 23.5 yards on kick offs.
He could hardly contain his excitement about being back on the football field.
“It feels nice, I’m blessed to be out here. That’s all I can really say about it, it feels great getting recovered and getting back healthy. Just glad to be around my guys,” said an enthused Christion.
Christion said pulling him off the injured list was a joint decision between him and his head coach and that both were ready to see where he was at.
After workouts and testing it out in practice, he was given the all clear.
Christion called the injury part of the game, one that if he was young he wouldn’t have handled as well as he felt he did this time. Instead of getting angry he said he focused on how he could be better.
“I stepped in my book and went back to ground zero and got my conditioning back … and sort of taught myself I could have worked from my short time being here. Hopefully we can attack those deficiencies that I have before I got hurt and come in and be effective in the game on Sunday,” Christion said.
The Riders head coach also confirmed that Duron Carter will be back in his spot in the game on Sunday. Carter left the game in Hamilton with an ankle injury and had been practising rather gingerly before Friday.
However, Chris Jones believes he’s good to go.
“He says he’s ready to go, I trust our trainer and I trust Duron. If we see that he can’t go then we’ll have (Antwane) Grant on Caleb Holley will go in his spot, there ain’t no secrets,” he said.
Overall the Riders got out of that game in Hamilton pretty unscathed. Eight players went down with injuries and were unable to return including Carter, Otha Foster and Brendon LaBatte. All are expected to be back in the lineup on Sunday.
The only long term injury to a starter was Mike Edem, a hole the Roughriders hope to fill long term with Marc-Olivier Brouillette who gave up his retired status earlier this week to ink a deal with the team.