Riders kicker hurt in practice, team adds replacement

Canadian kicker Tyler Crapigna suffered a strained hamstring injury while kicking in practice as Saskatchewan was preparing for their matchup with the Stampeders in Week 7 on Thursday night, per CFL sources.

The Riders have signed Canuck Johnny Mark to handle the kicking duties for Chris Jones’ team at McMahon Stadium.

Crapigna was a fifth-round pick, 40th overall in the 2014 CFL Draft by Calgary. He was traded to Saskatchewan at the trade deadline last year in a swap involving Jerome Messam. The McMaster product played three games in 2015 making all four field goals he attempted. That led to him earning the No. 1 placekicking job with Saskatchewan’s new regime.

Crapigna has connected on 16 of 18 three-points tries this season with a long of 53 yards, a 90 percent success rate which ranks tied for first through six weeks of the CFL schedule. He’s knocked in eight of nine extra point kicks too.

Mark, a Calgary Dinos alum who holds the CIS record for most points in a career with 535 and field goals 91, has never kicked in a regular-season CFL game. He was drafted in the third round, 20th overall by Saskatchewan in 2014. Then went back to the University of Calgary before being picked up by the Redblacks in 2015.

Saskatchewan selected Canadian kicker/punter Quin van Gylswyk in the third round, 26th overall in May’s pick-fest, but he’s on the six-game injured list.

It’s believed Crapigna has been put on the six-game injured list with his setback. While van Gylswyk, the rookie national, could be activated in Week 8 when Calgary travels to Regina for the back end of the home-and-home set. That depends on how Mark plays in his CFL debut.