Dickenson: Shaq Evans, Duke Williams ‘trending up’ to play, ‘not sure’ about A.C. Leonard

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Saskatchewan Roughriders’ head coach Craig Dickenson spoke to the media on Thursday and indicated that Shaq Evans and Duke Williams are “trending up” for Saturday’s game against the Calgary Stampeders.

“We’ll watch the film tonight but both of them finished practice and felt good. We’re not sure how many plays we can get them but they both looked like they were able to play today. It looks like they’ll play on game-day.”

Evans has been out since mid-August when he suffered a foot injury while making a block against Hamilton in Week 2. The 2019 CFL all-star caught eight passes for 87 yards in two wins to start the year but the team has gone just 3-4 in his absence.

Williams, meanwhile, was recently signed to provide the Riders with an additional weapon in the receiving corps following a two-year stint in the NFL. He recently declared himself the best deep threat in the CFL during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, during which he caught 134 receptions for 2,294 yards and 15 touchdowns with Edmonton.

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders/Electric Umbrella/Liam Richards

Dickenson is not as optimistic regarding the status defensive end A.C. Leonard, who suffered a knee injury during practice on Wednesday.

“He didn’t make it through practice today. He went out and tried to move around a little bit and did OK. He’s in seeing the medical people right now and we’ll have to make a decision on him later tonight or tomorrow,” said Dickenson.

“We just gotta see how he feels. A lot of it depends on his ability to move and he didn’t move much today, so we’re not sure.”

Leonard is arguably Saskatchewan’s best pass-rusher, having recorded 18 tackles, six sacks, and one interception in six games this season. He has played particularly well in back-to-back games against Calgary, making 10 tackles and three sacks.

Dickenson also indicated that Canadian defensive back Elie Bouka will not play this week due to a hamstring issue.

Saturday’s game will be the Riders’ third consecutive meeting with the Stamps, who are currently on a three-game winning streak. A victory would move Saskatchewan two points ahead of Calgary with a game in hand, though the Stamps have already captured the season series by virtue of their wins in Week 9 and Week 10.