Cody Fajardo has always been vocal about being a religious guy.
Each week the Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback manages to pull out a win, he notices the quirky bounces that roll in his favour and isn’t shy to credit the man above.
In Week 15, the ‘Sprinkles of Jesus’ as Fajardo calls them, allowed the Riders to not only clinch a home playoff game in their 29-24 win over the Edmonton Elks, but also narrowly avoid losing their prime time receiver in the process.
Duke Williams, whose 146 receiving yards to go along with his first touchdown wearing green and white, not only represented 60 percent of the Riders passing offence but effectively turned out to be the difference in the win.
It was the biggest receiving night of the season for Saskatchewan and just their second 100-plus-yard effort. It’s no secret the Riders will need Williams if they are to get anywhere in the post0season against Calgary, Winnipeg or anyone who represents the East Division in the 108th Grey Cup.
That’s why a half-full Mosaic Stadium, including Fajardo, gasped when Williams appeared to have injured his knee during the fourth quarter and was on the turf for several minutes. More worry piled on in the seconds that followed which seemed like an eternity to anyone thinking about the Riders Grey Cup hopes.
Even a late-game Fajardo interception to Elks defensive back Jonathan Rose, which was taken off board due to a pass interference call, didn’t concern Fajardo like the Williams injury did.
“Both are huge,” Fajardo said. “Duke feeling a lot better is much better for us because I have all the faith in our defence in the world that they would have found a way to win us the game, but being able to keep Duke in the lineup and hoping he feels good waking up.”
“But both were huge and I don’t know if you saw me after the interception. It was definitely some ‘Sprinkles of Jesus’ there. It was probably the first time I threw an interception that got overruled because of a penalty or something. It always seems like the interceptions stick for me.”
TSN commentators Dustin Nielson and Glen Suitor appeared to express doubt in the pass interference call against Rose, suggesting Kian Schaffer-Baker went down on his own. Meanwhile, head coach Craig Dickenson was asked if the minutes in which he witnessed Williams lying on the turf got him close to a heart attack.
“No, I’m getting used to it by now. We’ve had a lot of injuries this year. I was concerned, I thought it was serious. I didn’t like the looks of it but in football, it’s the ultimate team game, I believe. You cannot rely on one guy, it doesn’t matter at what position — everybody gets hurt and it’s just a matter of when,” Dickenson said.
“I was very concerned and I was very relieved when he came back. It shows me, one: he’s really tough. And two: what we were worried about, injury-wise, maybe wasn’t as bad as it initially appeared to be.”
Williams did manage to get back into the game and afterwards, insisted he was fine. However, the confirmation might not come until Tuesday when the Riders are back on the practice field when a few more ‘Sprinkles of Jesus’ would come in handy for the Roughriders and their fans just for good measure.