Riders re-arrange secondary for matchup with Ticats

Photo: David Mahussier/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have re-shuffled their secondary ahead of Sunday’s matchup with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, giving veteran Marcus Sayles the start at field-side cornerback.

The 29-year-old joined the Riders on June 4 after being released by the B.C. Lions following training camp. In 83 career CFL games with the Blue Bombers and Lions, Sayles has collected 294 defensive tackles, 10 special teams tackles, four sacks, 12 interceptions and seven forced fumbles. He was named a CFL all-star in 2022 and a West Division all-star in 2019, both at the halfback position.

Canadian Nelson Lokombo, who recorded two tackles while starting at corner in the opener, will move to safety, bumping Jayden Dalke off the top unit. Backup Kosi Onyeka will be a healthy scratch to accommodate the move.


Former NFL sixth-round draft pick KeeSean Johnson will also be a healthy scratch at receiver, after he made one catch for one yard in his CFL debut. Veteran Canadian Mitch Picton will step into the starting lineup to fulfill the ratio requirement, while charismatic rookie Ajou Ajou dresses for the first time in his career.

The Riders have also added a pair of defensive linemen to the rotation, Canadian end Nicholas Dheilly and American tackle Miles Brown. Canadian linebacker Jordan Herdman-Reed and American defensive back Antoine Brooks Jr. will be placed on the practice squad to accommodate the move.

Linebacker Rodney Clemons Jr. (Achilles) remains on the one-game injured list this week, while fullback Bruno Labelle (leg) and defensive back Amari Henderson (Achilles) will sit out despite being medically cleared.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders (1-0) will visit the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (0-1) at Tim Hortons Field on Sunday, June 16 with kickoff slated for 7:00 p.m. EDT.

Graphic courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders