BY: Jeff Schneberk
RiderNation has been through its share of ups and downs over the past several years and there is nothing to do for five more days before it continues this Sunday afternoon.
I don’t know which game could be better, the East semi final, or the west?
Among the things of concern in Rider Nation now is the health status of their best wide receiver Chris Getzlaf.
Another is the possibility that QB Darian Durant could have another one of those ‘off games’ as well as Geroy Simon’s playoff game against his former team, and the troubles of the running game with Kory Sheets
If all of those things were to turn out for the better, the Lions may as well start praying now b/c their playoff could be short-lived.
But back to Getzlaf, and how the Riders are now prepared to move forward without the slotback. Whether or not that happens depends on what happens during scheduled practices for the remainder of the week leading up to the CFL West semifinal at Taylor Field at Mosaic Stadium Sunday afternoon.
The only pro at this point for Green Nation is that they are playing this game at home.
Getzlaf leads the Riders with 1,045 receiving yards but hasn’t played since hurting his right knee in a 29-25 loss to Calgary on Oct. 25.
He’s doing better than he was last week,” says Head Coach Corey Chamblin.
If Getzlaf isn’t available, import Eron Riley will likely remain on the active roster. Riley started at slotback in Saturday’s 30-26 loss to the visiting Edmonton Eskimos. Riley had two receptions for 23 yards, including a five yard touchdown reception.
“Part of the reason we played Riley last week was on the condition that Getzlaf couldn’t play this week,” said general manager Brendan Taman. “We’ve made some alterations if that happens. We’re slowly hoping that (Getzlaf) can play. We don’t know that right now, but we have some plans in place in case he doesn’t.”
Saskatchewan and BC met three times this season with the Lions earning a close victory the first time they met in Week 13, while the Roughriders notched convincing wins in their final two encounters, outscoring the Leos 66-31. This week’s Western Semi-Final will mark the fourth time in the last eight weeks that the two clubs butt heads, meaning there will be no love lost when they clash one last time in front of what should be a wild Mosaic Stadium crowd.
When the Riders acquired Simon from BC a long time ago, they may or may not have been aware of the leadership abilities he brings to the table, and it’s more proof Saskatchewan made a right move in taking their chances with the 38-year-old veteran. All it cost them was an import receiver whom the Lions ended up cutting anyway.
The most troubling part of the Riders’ offense is the frustration of Sheets. He was limited to 42 yards on 11 carries and the strategy was unclear.On top of all that, even Head Coach Corey Chamblin has his doubts. When you say things like suggesting your own players “aren’t mentally tough enough” in some areas, you probably don’t want the guys on the other team to know that.