Riders rule star receiver Duke Williams out for Week 2 with ankle injury

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have made a last-minute change to their Week 2 depth chart, removing star receiver Duke Williams and placing him on the one-game injured list due to an ankle injury.

Williams was listed as questionable on the team’s final injury report and head coach Craig Dickenson said on Thursday that the former CFL all-star was “50/50” for the team’s matchup with the Edmonton Elks. While Williams was listed in his usual starting spot when the team issued their official depth chart on Friday morning, the Riders later released an update which ruled out the imposing slotback due to a rolled ankle suffered in practice.

Williams made five receptions for 58 yards in Saskatchewan’s season-opening victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He recorded 26 receptions for 448 yards and two touchdowns in six games, including the playoffs, after returning from the NFL last year.

The 29-year-old began his CFL career in Edmonton, where he racked up 134 catches for 2,294 yards and 15 touchdowns in 33 games. Williams spent the next three seasons with the Buffalo Bills, recording 12 receptions for 166 yards and one touchdown.

In his absence, the Riders will start three Canadian receivers with local product Mitch Picton taking over for Williams. Selected by Saskatchewan in the fifth round of the 2017 CFL Draft after a stellar collegiate career with the University of Regina, Picton had a breakout 2021 season in which he made 25 receptions for 218 yards and one touchdown in ten games.

Additionally, backup American running back Frankie Hickson will slide onto the roster to fill the vacant American role. Hickson had three carries for eight yards in Week 1, along with one five-yard catch.