The final three weeks of the regular season is chance for the Riders to look at some players who haven’t played much this year.
While it’s a move the team has to make, it’s not an easy one either. When new players come into the lineup, it means other players have to be removed. In this situation, those players are usually veterans.
At least two vets who might not see the field again this year for the Riders are Tyron Brackenridge and Tearrius George.
“Being in this situation right now is very tough for me. I play full seasons here. I take pride in that. I don’t miss practices. I don’t really miss games,” said Brackenridge.
“That first game of the season was the first game I missed since 2007 as a pro. To have (to) sit out these last three games is a tough situation. It’s a decision that management made and it’s out of my control. Just got to run with it.”
Brackenridge admits he didn’t take the news well when he was told.
“I didn’t take it too lightly. At the time, I couldn’t really … come to terms of understanding why and their reasons behind it. I still can’t,” he said.
“I have an idea. I understand why, but I still don’t understand why. I don’t know exactly where we stand, to be honest, as far next year. I’m not saying they just want to cut ties with me. It’s up in the air.”
It’s a feeling that Brackenridge knows well as he was a free agent at the end of last season and things felt up in the air then as well.
Considering Brackenridge isn’t under contract for next season, he would have liked to get some more game film.
The conversation wasn’t an easy one for Brackenridge but it was also difficult for interim head coach Bob Dyce.
“You don’t look forward to that. These guys are competitors. You want to reward them to keep going forward,” he said.
“When you came to a situation like this where it’s not related to their playing ability or anything like that you have to ask a guy to sit down. That’s not a very nice conversation to have.”
However, it’s one he knew he had to have.
“I don’t like to surprise guys with a depth chart or things like that. I’ll give them the respect they deserve,” he said.
“I’ll talk to those guys and tell them why the situation happens. There’s always a different reason for each guy.”
The situation is a little different for George. He is under contract next season and hopes to be back.
George is also a little more understanding of the decision as he admits he’s been banged up most of the year.
“It’s a part of the business. You trust in those guys that they know what they’re doing,” he said.
“You just continue try to be a part of it anyway that you can.”
Standing on the sidelines will be a little weird for George. He thinks he might accidentally run out on to the field at some point during the game on Saturday.
“All I can do is get healthy and try and stay healthy and workout and hope I get another chance to do this out here.”
George plans on helping the younger players taking his place the best he can.
With Brackenridge out of the lineup, look for Jake Doughty and Jeff Knox to play middle and will linebacker. Macho Harris remains at the same linebacker spot.
Tim Agbaje and Rory Connop will replace George.