Darian Durant is itching to see the field Saturday against the Edmonton Eskimos at Commonwealth Stadium.
It’s been almost a full year since the Riders’ quarterback has played in a CFL game, after going down with a season-ending injury on June 27,2015.
Durant said he is looking forward to getting some playing time in the Riders’ second exhibition game of 2016.
“A lot of my focus (in week three of camp) is going towards preparing myself on getting ready to play. There’s no telling how long I’ll play this weekend. Hopefully I can get in and get a couple of quarters in, that’s my focus as of now,” he said.
Last Saturday, backups Brett Smith and BJ Coleman split the quarterbacking duties in a 28-16 loss to the BC Lions at Mosaic Stadium. Smith completed six of 14 passes for 106 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. Coleman went eight-for-15 for 90 yards and two interceptions.
“They played a poor football game,” said Riders VP of football operations, GM and head coach Chris Jones in assessing his their performance.
Durant was asked Monday if he feels extra pressure to perform with three inexperienced pivots behind him in Smith, Coleman and Phillip Sims.
“I put enough pressure on myself to be successful. There’s no added pressure from the results of that game or how (Smith and Coleman) played. I feel like I’m one of the best quarterbacks in this league. I feel like as I go the team goes. I want to be there there to make sure that I put the team in the best possible situations on and off the field. I feel like I give us the best chance to win,” he said.
Durant was also asked for his thoughts on Smith and Coleman.
“Brett’s more of a runner, making things happen with his legs, getting out of trouble, things of that nature. Brett’s a little bit more elusive than BJ. BJ is a guy who can sit back in the pocket and has a cannon of an arm….and can pick you apart from the pocket. They both have different skill sets. They are both still relatively new to the CFL. They have some learning curves to overcome. Still a work in progress,” he said.