The first day of practice for the Saskatchewan Roughriders since falling to 0-6 was an eventful one.
Not only was there still a buzz in the air and plenty of talk about the reported future of head coach Corey Chamblin, there were a lot of changes on the field too.
Most notably, receiver Jamel Richardson was gone.
“He’s no longer with the team at this point right now. I can’t tell you exactly what his status is. It’ll be more of an update in the next 24 hours. We have talked with him about being able to move forward,” said Chamblin.
The biggest reason for the move was to give some younger players on the roster a chance to get more time in practice and perhaps even a chance to play.
Based on Tuesday’s workout, it appears that Devin Wilson could be the first in line to replace Richardson.
“There’s some young guys that (have) really been pushing to play. There’s no better time to let them play right now. When you’re 0-6, it’s time to see what you have,” said Chamblin.
“Our plan (going into the season) was the vets hold us in the first nine and then let those rookies get a chance to grow. Well, it came a little earlier than the first nine.”
The young blood could be exactly what this roster needs at this point. These new faces have plenty to prove and will want to do everything in their power to remain in the starting line-up.
Because of that, these moves are welcomed by the rest of the team.
“(Our record of) 0-6 has consequences, obviously. I’m excited. We have some great young guys in here that did some good things in camp,” said offensive lineman Chris Best.
The team also announced on Tuesday that they’ve officially signed former Alabama quarterback Blake Sims, who has already taken Richardson’s former number 14.
Sims won the SEC Championship with Crimson Tide in 2014. He was also a part of the team’s 2011 and 2013 BCS Championships. Sims signed with the Toronto Argonauts in the off-season but was released during training camp.
There’s some good news on the injury front for the Riders with defensive backs Mark Legree, Keenan MacDougall, and Marshay Green all returning to practice. Legree is eligible to return from the six-game injured list and it does look like he will play in Toronto.
Green and MacDougall can come off the injured list after the bye-week.
Defensive back Macho Harris left practice and did not return. Safety Tyron Brackenridge was moved to his linebacker spot with Legree at safety.
Running back Steven Miller could be making his 2015 debut after taking a lot of reps on Tuesday. Anthony Allen was limited to the scout team.
Defensive lineman Derek Walker and defensive back Tyree Hollins, who were injured in Edmonton, did not practice.
Fullback Scott McHenry and linebacker Telvion Clark were both released.