Riders head coach Chris Jones says Charleston Hughes ‘should play’ against Lions

Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive end Charleston Hughes could return to the football field against the B.C. Lions in Week 20.

“He should play. We’re moving forward. It was an unfortunate event, but we can’t just sit there and continue to pound away at it. It’s one of those things where any time something negative happens, we have to move forward at some point,” Riders head coach Chris Jones said.

“That’s our plan is to address this week as a new week and to do things the right way. We can’t sit there and harbor negative thoughts. If anything changes on that I’ll be the first to let you know.”

The Roughriders announced prior to their Week 19 game against Calgary that Hughes, who leads the CFL with 15 sacks, had been removed from the team’s active roster and fined the maximum disciplinary amount allowed – half a game cheque – after the veteran rush end was arrested and charged Oct. 11 with impaired driving and failing to provide a breath sample for analysis.

The team said in a statement that “by refusing to provide a breath sample, Hughes demonstrated behaviour directly in conflict with the club’s values and expectations – which include respecting police and police procedures.”

Jones had told reporters two days earlier after the charges became public that Hughes would play against Calgary. Jones said he reversed his decision later that day.

Saskatchewan beat Hughes’ former team the Stampeders on Saturday 29-24 in Calgary.

“It was pretty difficult watching the game from home and not being able to travel with the team. I’m just really happy to be back out here on the field,” Hughes said.

“I hold myself to a high standard and you’re supposed to be a role model. When I really look back at it, it is pretty embarrassing. Right now the focus is on football for the rest of the team and myself. I’m preparing like I’m ready to play on the weekend.”

– with CP files

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