Riders’ QB Mason Fine could miss ‘two to three weeks’ with hamstring pull: Craig Dickenson

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The Saskatchewan Roughriders could be down to their third quarterback for the next several weeks after Mason Fine exited their Week 10 loss to the Montreal Alouettes with an apparent lower-body injury.

Fine was five-of-nine passing for just 20 yards on Friday night, exiting the contest with 4:43 remaining in the second quarter. He went down awkwardly while sliding following a three-yard scramble and was seen clutching the back of his right leg before limping to the sideline. He did not return.

“He pulled a hamstring over there,” head coach Craig Dickenson told 620 CKRM’s post-game show. “I don’t know how serious it is but certainly wasn’t good enough to come back. I would guess two to three weeks.”

The 26-year-old pivot was making his fourth start of the season in place of injured veteran Trevor Harris, who suffered a tibial plateau fracture in Week 6. In his absence, Fine has completed 98-of-143 passes for 1,044 yards, three touchdowns, and four interceptions.

The Riders have not yet ruled out their franchise pivot out for the season, but any potential return for Harris remains months away.

Former NFL journeyman Jake Dolegala struggled in relief of Fine in Montreal, connecting on 11-of-20 passes for 107 yards and an interception while contributing his team’s only touchdown via a QB sneak. Despite those disappointing numbers, Dickenson said he did not contemplate inserting third-stringer Shea Patterson

“We wanted to give Jake the reps and Shea was coming off a little bit of a knee, so he wasn’t 100 percent either,” he explained. “We felt like our best chance to win was with Dolegala. We wanted the healthiest quarterback out there and that was Jake.”

If Dolegala is forced to start next week, it would be just the second of his CFL career. The six-foot-seven, 242-pound passer led the Riders to a loss to the Toronto Argonauts in Week 7 of the 2022 season, completing 16-of-35 pass attempts for 154 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.

However, quarterback play won’t be Saskatchewan’s only concern following a 41-12 beatdown at the hands of the Alouettes, a game in which they got outclassed in every phase.

“They didn’t do anything that we haven’t seen from other teams, it’s just football 101. When you can smash people and you can fire off the football and knock the other team back, you’re gonna have some success,” Dickenson remarked.

“That was just a physical beating right there and we’ll have to look at that and try to make some adjustments, maybe make some changes, but the reality is it was a bad day. We feel like we still have a good team, but we’ve got to improve and we’ve got to improve this next week.”

The Riders (4-5) will be back in action on Sunday, August 20 when they host the B.C. Lions.

J.C. Abbott is a University of British Columbia graduate and high school football coach. He covers the CFL, B.C. Lions, CFL Draft and the three-down league's Global initiative.