Defensive back Jovon Johnson has been doing some amazing things away from the football field. The Saskatchewan Roughriders veteran said he gathered 480 backpacks which he distributed to schoolchildren on Wednesday, despite reports that some people were stealing the gifts.
Now . . . will he get back on the football field? Johnson, the last active player from Saskatchewan’s 2007 Grey Cup-winning team, rejoined the Roughriders last year to wind down his CFL career. At 34 he’s the oldest player on Saskatchewan’s roster, one month older than defensive end Charleston Hughes. While Hughes is having a stellar season as a regular member of the defensive line rotation, Johnson has been inconsistent and was taken out of the lineup for Saturday’s victory over the B.C. Lions.
Riders head coach Chris Jones said he wants to rest his team’s older players, so they’re fresher for the late-season stretch and the playoffs. It’s not a bad idea. Resting Hughes and some other 30-something regulars like offensive linemen Thaddeus Coleman and Brendon LaBatte will prove it’s a real philosophy, not a punishment.