Riders lose hard-hitting DB Deontai Williams for clash with Elks

Photo: Larry MacDougal/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have made a flurry of roster moves ahead of Friday’s matchup with the Edmonton Elks.

Among the most significant changes will be the absence of halfback Deontai Williams (hamstring), who has been moved to the one-game injured list. The rookie from Nebraska has made an immediate impact in the CFL, notching 28 defensive tackles, six special teams tackles, and an interception.

The injury opens the door for veteran defensive back Trumaine Washington to make his Riders’ debut after he signed with the team in late July. The 28-year-old has dressed for 51 career CFL games with the Toronto Argonauts, Edmonton Elks, and Calgary Stampeders, recording 153 defensive tackles, one special teams tackle, 12 interceptions, two forced fumbles and one touchdown.

Friday also marks the return of defensive end Pete Robertson from his one-game suspension, while Canadian defensive back Nelson Lokombo and linebacker Justin Herdman-Reed are back from injury. Linebacker T.J. Brunson (ankle) will be on the one-game injured list, as Brian Harelimana and Cody Roscoe are moved back to the practice roster.

Up front, left guard Evan Johnson is back in the starting lineup after sitting out last week with a foot injury. He will be joined in a backup capacity by veteran Canadian offensive lineman Phillip Blake, who returned to practice last week after suffering a torn pec in the preseason. Logan Bandy and Zack Fry have been demoted to the practice roster to make room.

Also returning to the lineup this week is backup running back Frankie Hickson. Fullback Bruno Labelle will be a healthy scratch.

The Riders (6-6) will host the Elks (3-10) on Friday, September 15 at 9:30 p.m. EDT. Saskatchewan won the previous two games between the two franchises, with the margin of victory being a combined five points.

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders