Saskatchewan Roughriders’ head coach Craig Dickenson would like to get veteran defensive lineman Charleston Hughes in the lineup for the team’s regular season finale, though it remains unclear if he will play.
“I think it would be great if we could get him out there but we can only dress 45 and we still want to try to put our best group out there — our healthiest group, that’s the main thing. But today was day one [of practice this week] and he looked pretty good and if it works out the way I hope then he’ll be playing on Saturday,” Dickenson told the media in Regina.
“I’m going to stay on the fence on that. We’re going to practice and see how he does but if he’s ready to go and we can fit him in, we’re going to dress him.”
Hughes has been a healthy scratch at times this season, including Saskatchewan’s two most recent games. The 38-year-old has made seven tackles, four sacks, and three forced fumbles over eleven games on the year, which could be his last in the CFL.
The 15-year veteran first broke into the league with the Calgary Stampeders in 2008 and played ten seasons with the team, winning two Grey Cups and earning four league all-star nods. He was traded to Saskatchewan by way of Hamilton in February 2018 and proved he still had plenty of gas left in the tank, recording 31 sacks over two seasons with the team.
Hughes was released by Saskatchewan in February 2021 and signed a two-year contract with the Toronto Argonauts the following day, though he was released following a relatively unproductive season. He rejoined the Riders as a free agent in May 2022.
The Riders were eliminated from postseason contention this past week following a 32-21 loss to the Calgary Stampeders. The teams will meet again on Saturday at McMahon Stadium in a game that holds no weight in the West Division standings for either team.
“Our job is to play football and to put the best team we can out there to try to win the game and to continue to work hard each day we’re in,” said Dickenson. “I think they’re excited to play. You only get to play so many games in your career, you only get to coach so many games and we want to make the most of every opportunity.”