The Saskatchewan Roughriders hope to put on one last show on Saturday at Mosaic Stadium.
For the final time this year, the Riders will play at home as they host the Edmonton Eskimos.
Even though there isn’t anything to play for in the standings, the players hope they can send the fans home happy one more time this year.
“That’s the hugest thing. These fans have been out here packing the stadium every week, win or lose. They’ve been the biggest supporters you can imagine,” said defensive end Dylan Ainsworth.
“It’s really reassuring as a team that you have fans that have your back no matter what.”
Just how many fans will be at the old Taylor Field for a late October game isn’t know just yet. However, despite the team’s 2-13 record coming into the game, attendance has only dipped below 30,000 people once this season.
“We get great support here. Fans have been so loyal this year with our record. It just motivates us to come out here and play hard every game,” said receiver Naaman Roosevelt.
“For this being our last game, it’s one thing want to do is play hard.”
The fans are just one of a few ways the team is motivating itself heading into the final weeks of the regular season.
Even though there’s nothing to play for in the standings, the team’s competitive drive has not changed and winning is still what’s most important.
“Any one of these players, any one of these coaches, every opportunity we get to do this, we love,” said interim head coach Bob Dyce.
“Whether it’s a playoff game or anything like that, it doesn’t make a difference. (Just) because we aren’t getting to the playoffs doesn’t mean we don’t give everything we’ve got to this game. There’s always a lot riding on it.”
Individually, there’s a lot at stake for the players and coaches as well. All week, the talk has surrounded these final three games and how the futures of the players and coaches will be impacted by them. Young players are getting a chance to play and show what they can do. Coaches will try to prove they can get something out a group that’s struggled all year.
All of it is in hopes of getting a job either with the Riders next season or someone else.
“Your film is your resume. Week in and week out we have to come out here and prove ourselves and prove our worth,” said linebacker Jake Doughty.
“I got to come out here the last few games and prove that I deserve to be here next year and I deserve to play.”
Doughty will be one of a few players getting a chance to play this week. He’s been a healthy scratch the last few weeks after spending six games on the injured list.
Quarterback Brett Smith gets the start under centre but it’s expected that Keith Price will make his CFL debut at some point during the team.
Added to the roster:
- Quarterback Blake Sims
- Kicker Tyler Crapigna
- Running back Chad Spann
- Fullback Matt Rea
- Linebacker Denicos Allen
- Linebacker Nathan Kanya
- Defensive lineman Rory Connop
Removed from the roster:
- Quarterback Kevin Glenn (traded to Montreal)
- Running back Jerome Messam (traded to Calgary)
- Offensive lineman Jemarcus Hardrick
- Kicker Paul McCallum (injured list)
- Defensive end Alex Hall (injured list)
- Linebacker Nehemie Kankolongo
- Safety Dan West
Kick-off is at 5 p.m. on TSN.
The Green Zone 10-Hour Game Day begins at 1 p.m. on News Talk Radio with Game Day with Wray followed by the Green Zone Pre-Game Show.
During the game, stay up-to-date and entertained with Scotty and the King on the Fan Zone.
After the game, it’s your turn to be the star by calling the Green Zone Post-Game Show at 1-877-300-7275.