Taj Smith’s time with the Saskatchewan Roughriders is coming to an end.
The 32-year-old receiver was notably absent from practice on Wednesday when the Riders took to the field to begin preparing for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sunday.
“We made a decision with Taj. He wasn’t at his fullest. So, we shut Taj down. There’s some other guys that moved ahead of him. So, Taj will be done for the year,” said head coach Corey Chamblin.
Where Smith ends up at this point is unclear. Much like when the coach announced that kicker Chris Milo was “deactivated” from the roster, Smith could be placed on the injured list, the suspended list or outright released.
That’s a decision that will likely come from general manager Brendan Taman.
Since his 1,007 receiving-yard season in 2013, Smith has struggled. He was never able to reach that same level of play. Smith picked up 397 yards in 2014 before suffering a broken clavicle ending his season.
In three games this season, Smith recorded just eight catches for 94 yards and a touchdown.
“It’s part production but … he wasn’t himself,” said Chamblin.
“We know he wasn’t full speed.”
Smith was dealing with some nagging injuries most of the season but it wasn’t enough to keep him out of the lineup.
Another new DB
Smith may be out but the Riders are bringing in another veteran defensive back. The team officially signed former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Alex Suber on Wednesday.
“It’s exciting, man. Grateful for this opportunity. Glad to be playing football again,” said Suber.
Suber, a Tampa Bay native, actually stayed in Canada working out in Edmonton before getting the call.
Suber has made 249 tackles, four interceptions and one sack since 2010.
The Riders also announced on Wednesday they’ve released Canadian linebacker Akwasi Antwi and American defensive back Marrio Norman.