Saskatchewan Roughrider draft pick Cam Judge took to the field for his first practice in wearing a familiar number in Riderville.
Darian Durant’s old No. 4.
The former Rider quarterback was traded to the Montreal Alouettes in January after 11 seasons in Saskatchewan. A popular player who won two championships – including the 2013 Grey Cup, held in Regina – Durant finished with a 58-54 record in 113 starts and was a West Division all-star in 2009 and 2013.
He delivered a heartfelt farewell to Rider fans at CFL Week in Regina in March.
But the 34-year-old Durant was set to become a free agent in February and, with contract talks going nowhere, vice president of football operations and head coach Chris Jones has elected to get something in return for his quarterback: fourth round draft pick in 2017 and a conditional second rounder in 2018.
According to Arielle Zerr of radio station CJME, Judge had no idea of the number’s significance.
Judge says he had no idea who wore Riders #4 before him. He used to wear #2 for his dad, but it was taken at UCLA so he switched to 4. (1/2)
— Arielle Zerr (@arielle_zerr) June 19, 2017
When he came here he looked and saw #2 was taken again and #4 wasn’t, so he reverted back to his college number.
— Arielle Zerr (@arielle_zerr) June 19, 201
Players generally get to choose their digits but it’s not unheard of for management to declare the number of a recently-departed popular player off limits for a period of time as a show of respect.