News, notes and rosters for Riders v. Ticats

Saskatchewan Roughriders (5-5) at Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2-8)
Tim Hortons Field
Fri., Sept. 14
Game time: 7 p.m.
TV: TSN Radio: TSN 1150

The storyline for Hamilton: Coming off two straight wins, the story quickly became all Johnny, all the time after quarterback Johnny Manziel triggered a clause that gives the team 10-days to offer him a contract or lose him from their negotiation list. The Ticats say it isn’t a distraction and better not be: Hamilton needs to take care of business at home and win their upcoming East Division games to have a shot at the post-season and the margin for error is very slim.

Key injuries and roster changes: The Ticats are still in ratio purgatory, struggling to find seven Canadian starters due a string of injuries. This week, rookie Canadian receiver Mitchell Baines gets the start and running back Sean Thomas-Erlington returns from injury to provide depth and flexibility. American Lamar Holmes returns to right tackle in place of the injured Ryker Mathews.

Five funky Hamilton stats:
1. The Ticats have to win the time of possession in any game this season and have controlled the ball a league low 26:10 per game.
2. Brandon Banks has been targeted 18 times in the last two weeks, equally his total for the first eight games of the season. Last week for the first time in his Hamilton career he did not have a single kick return.
3. The Ticats ran the ball 18 times last week, a season high and had a season-best 147 rushing yards, led by running back C.J. Gable (74 yards) and QB Jeremiah Masoli (73 yards).
4. Hamilton has won back-to-back contests for the first time in 23 games dating back to July 2016. They can post their first three-game winning run in over two years with a victory this week.
5. The Ticats are fifth in the CFL with 80 penalties, an average of eight per game. Penalties are down by 11 per cent from last year and 23 per cent since 2015.

The storyline for Saskatchewan: After three straight wins got them back into the playoff picture, the Riders got shellacked in the Banjo Bowl against Winnipeg last Saturday. Like the Ticats, Saskatchewan is fighting to stay relevant in the insanely competitive West Division. Another loss would have the faithful grumbling in no time.

Key injuries and roster changes: The biggest question surrounds whether quarterback Kevin Glenn will start despite a bruised hand suffered in the loss to Winnipeg last week. If he can’t, Canadian Brandon Bridge will get his second career start. Another former Ticat, receiver and kick returner Marcus Thigpen, signed with Saskatchewan this week as did linebackers Otha Foster and Greg Knox Jr., both recent NFL cuts.

Five funky Saskatchewan stats:
1. Receiver Duron Carter has caught a touchdown in six consecutive games, two short of the CFL record held byTerry Evanshen.
2. The Riders have won the last two games against the Ticats, including a 37-20 victory in Week 2 in Regina. Saskatchewan rolled up 464 yards and a season-high 31 first downs, adding 380 yards in passing from Kevin Glenn.
3. The Riders have outscored the opposition 60-10 in the first quarter over their last four games.
4. Ex-Ticat Ed Gainey leads the CFL with six interceptions.
5. Receiver Naaman Roosevelt comes into this game with back-to-back 100 yard receiving games and has caught a pass in all 31 games he’s played for Saskatchewan since entering the CFL in 2015.

TSN play-by-play: Chris Cuthbert and Glen Suitor

Referee: Al Bradbury

Weather: Partly cloudy, 20 degrees, 20 per cent chance of rain, light winds out of the southwest at 10 km/h.

Things to know about this game: the 2017 inductees to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame will be honoured at halftime.

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