The BC Lions come off their bye week to host a beat-up Saskatchewan Roughriders team with 8 players out due to injury on Saturday at BC Place.
BC Lions (4-1): The BC Lions look well rested ahead of their week 7 game. All but 1 of their players were a full participant in every practice this week on their injury report. Patrice Rene who played last in week 5 as a 2nd string safety has been ruled out for this meeting with an ankle injury.
Saskatchewan (3-2): The Saskatchewan Roughriders are coming off a thrilling game against Calgary. Saskatchewan took the lead with a 69-yard touchdown pass to Tevin Jones in the final minute before Calgary came back and scored a game-winning field goal in the dying seconds. The Roughriders also lost their starting quarterback in week 6 as Trevor Harris suffered a tibial plateau fracture in the loss to Calgary.
Other Week 7 Articles:
Date/Location: Saturday, July 22 / BC Place, Vancouver, BC
Kickoff Time: 7:00 PM ET, 4:00 PM PT
Channel: TSN (Canada), CBS Sports (USA), CFL+ (International)
Spread: BC -10.5 (+100), Saskatchewan +10.5 (-120)
Moneyline: BC -430, Saskatchewan +340
Over/Under: 45.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
Saskatchewan’s Rough Ride to BC
Saskatchewan will be without Trevor Harris who was 2nd in the CFL in passing yards prior to week 6. Saskatchewan already had quite a few injuries prior to this especially where their passing game is concerned as they now have 5 receivers on their 6 game-injured list including Juwan Brescacin, Brayden Lenius, Kian Schaffer-Baker, Derel Walker, and Jake Wieneke.
Similar to BC earlier in the season, Saskatchewan has had receivers step into bigger roles in the absences of key receivers, most notably Tevin Jones. Jones is the leader in receiving yards for Saskatchewan despite missing the first game with 340 yards on 21 catches and 2 touchdowns. Jones is in his 2nd season as a CFL player but was in NFL systems from 2016-2021.
Mason Fine will play under center for Saskatchewan who started the last 2 games of the season for the Riders last year. In his appearances over the 2022 season, he completed 67 of his 102 passes (65%) for 690 yards and 3 touchdowns with 3 interceptions. Fine completed 6 of his 8 passes for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns in the 4th quarter last week with 69 yards coming on the same play.
Saskatchewan has allowed the third most points in the CFL so far with 128 allowed over 5 games (25.6 per game).
The Lions’ Den
The BC Lions come off of the bye week after winning a close game on the road in Montreal. Vernon Adams Jr. was very efficient in the game despite the rainy weather as he completed 20 of his 25 passes for 283 yards and a touchdown. Vernon Adam’s Jr. had a great bounce back after a tough loss to Toronto in which he threw 6 interceptions. VA is currently the only quarterback averaging over 300 yards per game.
So far this season the BC Lions defense has been the best in the league both in the eye test and statistically. The Lions have allowed 85 points or 17 points per game scored by their opponents which is the lowest in the league. The entire defensive line has been playing excellent football and creating big headaches for quarterbacks. In the last 3 games, BC has generated 17 sacks.
The defensive unit as a whole has played excellently and has held Jake Maier, Taylor Cornelius, and Zach Collaros to under 200 passing yards in the wins against their respective teams.
So far this season the team coming off of their bye week is 6-1. Saskatchewan has won their last 5 road games at BC Place and has not lost to BC on the road since August 5, 2017.
BC Players to Watch:
#19 Dominique Rhymes WR
Dominique Rhymes has played in 4 games and leads the league in touchdowns. He has 17 receptions for 274 yards and 5 touchdowns.
#4 Keon Hatcher WR
Has the most receiving yards per game for BC after missing the first 3 due to a foot injury. He has 14 receptions for 172 yards and a touchdown.
#13 Alexander Hollins WR
Hollins leads the team in receiving yards with 309 yards on 24 receptions and a touchdown. He stepped up in a big way during injuries to Dominique Rhymes, Lucky Whitehead, and Keon Hatcher.
#7 Lucky Whitehead WR
In 3 games Whitehead has 13 catches for 138 yards. He was one of 3 receivers with 1,000 yards last year for BC.
#28 Shaun Shivers RB
Shivers had a very big day in his CFL debut in the win against Montreal. He had 14 carries for 63 yards (4.5 average) and a touchdown. He also caught both of his targets for 73 yards. One of his receptions was a 68-yarder in which the ball was punched out of his hands just before he scored a touchdown.
Shivers is the starter again Saturday with Taquan Mizzell still
#90 Mathieu Betts DE
Mathieu Betts has a whopping 9 sacks in just 5 games and is the current CFL sack leader. He is currently on pace to break Bren Johnson’s Canadian sack record which is set at 17.
#1 Gary Peters, CB
2022 CFL All-Star. In the game against Winnipeg, he had 2 knockdowns both in BC’s endzone.
#20 Bo Lokombo LB
Leads the team in tackles with 30 and also has 2 sacks on the season.
#33 Emmanuel Rugamba, LB
Had the most tackles last week for BC in week 4 with 7. I back in the lineup after being out due to injury in week 5.
#49 Tibo Debaille DT
Was named to the Pro Football Focus Team of the Week. He is the first Belgian player to achieve this honor.
BC Lions Injury Report/Game Status:
Despite being listed as a full participant in practice every day on the injury report Taquan Mizzell is ruled out for the 2nd game in a row due to a knee injury.
Patrice Rene is ruled out for the contest due to an ankle injury. He was the 2nd string safety last game.
Manny Rugamba is back in the lineup after missing the last game due to a rib injury. Rugamba led the team in tackles with 7 in week 4. Rugamba is back in his spot at outside linebacker.
Quincy Mauger was playing the position while Rugamba was injured. Mauger is moving back to his previous position as the starting safety. Adrian Greene is moved from the starting safety to the 2nd string safety this week.
Brooks Parker is moved to the practice roster after playing last week listed as a 4th-string linebacker.
Kienan LaFrance is brought in for this game as the 2nd string runningback after being on the 1-game injured list. Last week Shaun Shivers was the only running back dressed.
I predict BC to win this game. The BC Lions have been playing football at an extremely high level this season on both sides of the ball. I don’t see Saskatchewan finding a way to win this game on the road with all of the injuries they have sustained, including their starting quarterback. BC is well-rested after the bye week and has home field advantage.
I predict the score to be BC Lions to win this game by a score of 34 to 23.
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