Riders’ punter Jon Ryan out ‘two-to-three weeks’ with ankle injury

Photo courtesy: Hannah Souster

Saskatchewan Roughriders punter Jon Ryan suffered an ankle injury in Week 12 that’s going to keep him out of the lineup for the foreseeable future.

According to head coach Craig Dickenson, Ryan won’t suit up in Week 13 against the Montreal Alouettes and could be out two-to-three weeks. Through 10 games in 2021, the six-foot, 217-pounder has punted 62 times for 2,907 gross yards — 46.9-yard average — with a long of 77 yards.

“He’s not going to play this week, he’s got an ankle that’s swelled up pretty good. So he’s going to be out two-to-three weeks probably. And they’re going to take a look at it again and make sure nothing is broke,” Dickenson said.

“We just think it’s a high ankle, but it’s severe enough that he won’t play this week.”

The 39-year-old punted 107 times for 5,222 gross yards — 48.8-yard average — with a long of 77 yards while playing all 18 regular season games for Saskatchewan in 2019. He was named a West Division all-star for his efforts during the first season with his hometown team.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers originally selected Ryan in the third round, 24th overall during the 2004 CFL Draft. Ryan handled the punting duties for two seasons, leading the league with a 50.6-yard average in 2005. NFL teams took notice of Ryan’s strong leg and Green Bay signed him to a contract.

Ryan spent two seasons with the Packers. After that, Ryan moved on to Seattle for 10 seasons, including a Super Bowl championship in 2014 — becoming the first person from Saskatchewan to win an NFL title. He punted 914 times in the NFL for 40,895 yards and a 44.7-yard average with 311 punts inside the 20-yard line.

Ryan earned over $14 million while playing south of the border. His contract for 2021 included a $6,500 signing bonus with $12,000 in housing, $3,000 in travel allowance to go alongside a $67,000 base salary for $88,500 in hard money.

Global punters Ben Scruton and Kaare Vedvik will compete in practice to fill the vacant spot on the roster left by Ryan. Dickenson believes in the CFL placement and hang time of punts trumps distance, that’s the emphasis with both first-year players.

“Scruton’s learning, he has his good days and his bad days. His consistency is an issue, but hopefully we can straighten him out — he’s got plenty of leg,” Dickenson said.

“Vedvik has only been with us a week, but I like what I see and the film of him shows him able to do it at a high level. I’m confident that we’ll be A-OK at punter this week.”