Duron Carter is going to be very busy Friday night.
Head coach/GM Chris Jones said Wednesday that Carter will see action on both sides of the ball Friday night when Saskatchewan visit the Calgary Stampeders. Carter, the Roughriders’ leading receiver, practised at cornerback with the starting defence Wednesday as well as with the second-team offence.
“He’s going to play a bunch of football,” Jones told reporters in Regina. “He’s going to be a tired young man after this football game.
“Will he play every snap on offence? No. Will he play every defensive snap? No. But he’s going to play a lot of football.”
Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell took to social media to warn Carter that he can expect a lot of action when he’s on defence.
“Don’t do it Duron.. you’ll get 25 balls thrown at you,” Mitchell tweeted.
But the six-foot-five, 205-pound Carter – whose father, Cris, is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame – is being pressed into duty on defence with defensive backs Sam Williams – who’s listed on Saskatchewan’s practice roster – Kacy Rodgers II and Chris Lyles all down. As well, veteran defensive back Otha Foster III is on the six-game injured list.
Carter has never started on defence but has seen action in the secondary. He played there in Saskatchewan’s 41-8 win over the B.C. Lions on Aug. 13 as well as its 27-24 road win over the Toronto Argonauts on Oct. 7.
“He’s been practising there all year,” Jones said. “He’s played in different games this year for us defensively.
“He’s very instinctual and quite honestly I’m not sure he’s a better corner than he is a receiver. We don’t have anybody else to put in there. All of our guys are hurt.”
On Monday, Carter and Williams were involved in an altercation. There were reports a coach encouraged Carter and Williams to continue fighting and that once the melee ended that Carter and fellow receiver Bakari Grant – who tried to break things up – wouldn’t play another game this season with the Riders and the club was making arrangements to fly them both out of Regina.
On Tuesday, Jones acknowledged an incident occurred between Carter and Williams but downplayed the significance of it. Jones wouldn’t comment on a coach’s reported involvement in the altercation or what, if any, discipline would come as a result.
Friday night’s game is important for both teams.
Calgary (13-1-1) can clinch first in the West Division with a victory while Saskatchewan (8-6) could cement a playoff berth with a victory. The Stampeders are 2-0 this season versus the Riders and riding an 11-game win streak.
Calgary has been unbeatable at home of late, having won its last 17 straight games at McMahon Stadium. The Stampeders are also 7-0 within the West Division while Saskatchewan is 3-5.
“A lot of people have tried to figure that out,” Jones said when asked how a team goes about beating Calgary. “You have to play good, solid football I know that.
“You’ve got to stop the run, you’ve got to force them into second-and-long situations, you’ve got to play good on special teams. You’ve got to go there and play all three phases at a very high level.”