He’s back, Rider Nation.
Back on defence that is.
The Roughriders are putting their 2017 top receiver Duron Carter in at defensive back after a finger injury will keep Nick Marshall out of the lineup for roughly six weeks.
Head coach Chris Jones said with a full training camp in the books, he expects Carter to be even better than last season when he started at defensive back against Calgary and recorded a pick-six.
“He’s a better DB right now then what he was when we played him last year against Calgary so I expect him to go in and help us win the football game,” head coach Chris Jones said Tuesday ahead of the team’s flight to Ottawa.
Marshall had a pick-six of his own in last Friday’s game against the Toronto Argonauts. Jones said he injured his finger in the game but was able to play through it. Marshall was moved to the six-game injured list Monday and will undergo surgery on his finger soon.
In the meantime, Jones said Carter will play exclusively on defence, though he didn’t say for how long that will be the case or how soon he’ll return to the offence to take snaps as a receiver again.
“Duron’s not Superman, contrary to what he might tell you. He’s an outstanding player, he can play certainly a lot of plays, he can do a lot of things but again we’ll have a guy going in on the roster for Duron at receiver and then we’ll have Duron at DB.”
Though Carter begged to differ on at least one of those points.
“I might be Superman you just don’t know,” he told reporters after practice.
Besides possibly giving up his secret identity, Carter also said he’s improved as a defensive back in part because he spent entire practices with the defence during training camp.
Carter explained getting more reps on defence and in-game, as well just more experience all-around has helped with the transition to defensive back.
So has his time as a receiver when it comes to reading plays.
“I know a lot of offence period, so me being able to see route combinations and everything it definitely helps me out out there.”
Carter said he’s always ready to play offence or defence or both if the game calls for it, but hopes his teammate has a speedy recovery.
“Wherever they need me (but) I want Nick to come back. Nick’s a great player. He takes a little bit of pressure off of me.”