CFL leading sack man, Riders’ Charleston Hughes sore, but not hurt

Charleston Hughes took a day off from practice and joined the team late on their final day of real preparation for playing the Montreal Alouettes in Week 14.

“We gave him a day off just to rest him. He’s sore and he’s a little beaten up, but there’s nothing injury-wise that we’re concerned about,” head coach Craig Dickenson said.

The 35-year-old leads the CFL with 13 sacks in 11 games. Hughes has topped the league in quarterback takedowns four times in his career: 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2018. He left Calgary tied for the franchise record in sacks at 99.

“I’ve known Charleston for quite a while. He’s a hard-working guy, he likes to have fun. He’s gotten a little more serious about football, not that he wasn’t before, but he’s getting a little older and he knows his days are numbered,” Dickenson said.

“He’s coming to work with a little more rest and a little more focused. He’s very serious and really wants to do well. he’s developing behaviour that you see with a lot of coaches, he’s really taking the game seriously and studying film and wanting to lead.”

Five straight seasons Hughes has notched double-digit sack totals and been a league all-star five times. Hughes was acquired in February 2018 when the Riders sent quarterback Vernon Adams to Hamilton. He’s a pending free agent following the 2019 season. Age has not slowed down his numbers.

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