He was one of the Riders most standout players in a defence that is full of them.
Then injury struck against Hamilton taking Derrick Moncrief out of the lineup for six games.
“I think they ran a screen. He caught me from the right and I tried to spin out but I fell to the ground. It felt like I broke every bone in my shoulder,” Moncrief explained Friday ahead of his first start since July 19.
At the same linebacker position, Moncrief was the team’s leading tackler. He racked up 20 of them in just four games played and was getting noticed by fans, his adversaries and his head coach alike.
“Crief’s a great player, he’s a very instinctual guy. He’s a good tackler, he’s a good special teamer. He brings good size and explosiveness to our group” said head coach Chris Jones.
Coming back from a joint sprain was tough, but it wasn’t as tough as just sitting on the sideline and watching as his teammates played.
“Especially in crunch time, like second down and things like that,” Moncrief said. “But as a student of the game, I learned so much just by watching.”
Moncrief also had some help through the hard times from his girlfriend Porcha, who he proposed to on Aug. 10 while the Roughriders were on their bye week.
“(She’s) very encouraging all the time. I love her for that,” Moncrief said. “Just being athletes when we get hurt or miss any time we’re going to complain a little bit. We’ve got to talk to somebody, so that’s my shoulder to lean on.”
Moncrief took her out on a riverboat and when they got off, he had family members waiting with flowers and cards.
They plan to marry on May 11, 2019.
But first, there’s the rest of the football season and he can’t wait to get back to work.
“I’m very excited. It feels like the first game of my career, just so many setbacks and things like that, but I feel ready. I’m ready and ready to have fun with my teammates,” Moncrief said.
The Roughriders and the Redblacks kick off at Mosaic Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Green Zone pre-game show begins at 5:30 p.m.
Derrick Moncrief is back, y'all. pic.twitter.com/keBMGiDIfA
— Arielle Zerr (@arielle_zerr) September 14, 2018
Here are the Ottawa Redblacks' depth chart and roster sheet for Saturday's CFL game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Regina. Also included are the Roughriders' depth chart and roster sheet. #CFLGameDay pic.twitter.com/AfFcQvCtZA
— Gord Holder (@HolderGord) September 14, 2018