Craig Dickenson believes there is ‘no way’ QB Michael Reilly will miss Friday’s game

Photo Scott Grant /
Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

Michael Reilly has undergone an MRI on his right arm but Saskatchewan Roughriders’ head coach Craig Dickenson doesn’t believe for a moment that he won’t dress for Friday’s season-opening game at Mosaic Stadium.

“I know Michael Reilly well. Michael Reilly is playing in this football game. He is tough as nails, there’s no way anybody else is playing. We’re preparing for Michael Reilly,” said Dickenson in a videoconference on Wednesday.

The 36-year-old Reilly started 16 games for the Lions in 2019, but his first year as the starter in B.C. was cut short due to a broken wrist. He passed for 3,897 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions while completing just under 70 percent of his attempts as the Lions went 5-13 and missed the playoffs.

It remains unclear whether or not he will be ready to start for B.C. on Friday. If he were unable to dress, rookie Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke would take his place under centre.

“I look forward to seeing [Reilly] in pregame and shaking his hand. He’s a good man and a good friend. It’ll be a good battle on Friday because he’s going to bring it like he always does,” said Dickenson.

The six-foot-three, 230-pound signal caller won the league’s Most Outstanding Player award in 2017 when he threw for a career-high 5,830 yards and 30 touchdowns. He’s been a part of two Grey Cup winning teams, including leading Edmonton to a CFL title in 2015, earning MVP honours in the 103rd edition of the three-down championship.

Reilly started his CFL career with the Lions in 2010 and he’s been in the league for 10 seasons. He has completed over 66 percent of his passes for 31,522 yards with 168 touchdowns against 99 interceptions and rushed 637 times for 3,366 yards scoring 52 majors in 155 games.