Dickenson reveals Paxton Lynch is unvaccinated, ineligible to travel beyond West Semi-Final

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Saskatchewan Roughriders’ head coach Craig Dickenson has revealed that quarterback Paxton Lynch is unvaccinated, according to Derek Taylor.

Lynch was demoted to the practice roster this week after spending the first fifteen weeks of the regular season on the active roster or the one-game injured list. As per Taylor’s report, the decision not to play him against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday was made in part due to his ineligibility to travel for the postseason beyond the West Semi-Final.

In his place, Mason Fine has been added to the roster as the backup for Isaac Harker Saturday afternoon against Hamilton.

The six-foot-seven, 244-pound passer has spent the entire 2021 season on the club’s active roster or one-game injured list, allowing him to collect his full salary. He has yet to dress for a game behind Cody Fajardo and Isaac Harker as he’s frequently been Saskatchewan’s healthy scratch.

Lynch spent two seasons with the Denver Broncos after being selected No. 26 overall during the 2016 NFL Draft. He had a 1-3 win-loss record as a starter and completed 61.7 percent of his passes for 792 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions. Lynch hasn’t played an NFL game since the 2017 season having been released by Seattle and Pittsburgh in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

The 27-year-old was a prolific passer at the University of Memphis. He started 38 games for the Tigers passing for 8,863 yards, 59 touchdowns versus 23 interceptions with a 62.9 completion rate while adding 687 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns. After being tabbed as a three-star recruit by Rivals, Lynch outperformed his ranking in the NCAA.

Lynch was a two-time all-conference honouree, one of 12 finalists for the Manning Award and one of five finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. He was also a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award and for the 79th Maxwell Award.

In his junior collegiate season, he tied an NCAA record by completing seven touchdown passes in the first half of a game and finished the year ranked 11th in the NCAA in passing efficiency (157.5). Lynch decided to forgo his final collegiate season to enter the NFL Draft.

The Riders (9-4) are set to visit the Ticats (7-6) on Saturday with Saskatchewan resting a number of starters after clinching second place in the West Division last week. Among those who will not play are Fajardo, William Powell, Duke Williams, Micah Johnson, Micah Teitz, and Loucheiz Purifoy.