A welcome sight returned to the practice field this week in Riderville.
Star receiver Naaman Roosevelt was out taking reps with his team for the first time since he was taken off and then placed back on the six-game injured list before Thanksgiving Day game against Edmonton.
Roosevelt suffered an MCL sprain against the Toronto Argonauts on Sept. 22 and has been rehabbing to get back ever since.
Three weeks ago he – as well as the team’s training staff – thought he was ready to play but it turned out he wasn’t.
“After that practice it just got real sore and we thought at first I was going to need a brace to put on it so we tried to go out there with a brace and it just didn’t feel right. So now it feels a lot better, I don’t need the brace anymore,” Roosevelt said.
A standout whenever he’s in the lineup, Roosevelt has missed four games this season because of his knee injury. He’s got 570 yards and four touchdowns in the games he has played.
In his stead, a flurry of rookies have stepped up including Jordan Williams-Lambert, Shaq Evans and Kyran Moore.
“It’s hard to just watch and not be out there with your guys but I feel like we’ve been doing a really great job as a team … last week was a great effort by the offence,” Roosevelt said, adding he sent some encouragement their way from back at home.
“I texted the receivers before the game … told them they’re the best in the league and no one can guard them. I just told those guys that and they did a great job this week just going out there and competing.”
But no matter how well his teammates are playing Roosevelt is anxious to get back out there. How likely that is depends on how far along head coach Chris Jones thinks he is.
“There’s a fine line when you bring a guy off the six, trying to make sure he’s healthy or healthy enough to play in the game – that’s the key and from what I gather it looks as if he will be.”
Roosevelt, however, wasn’t sure what the coaches planned to do.
“They’ve been asking me every day how I’m feeling and they’ve been saying I’ve been looking good this week so I hope I get out there and make some plays for this team.”
The game on Saturday will be the Roughriders last regular season game of the season as the team has a bye during the last week of the season.
A win or tie against the Lions will secure a home playoff game.
Kick off is at 5 p.m.