Sticking to the constraints of the CFL policy regarding COVID-19, Riders head coach, Craig Dickenson has been in quarantine for a few days, but is expected to be there for game day at the Labor Day Classic. The Roughriders will be facing the absolute best in the league…the Grey Cup champions themselves, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The game is set to go down tomorrow, the 4th of September at 6 PM EST.
The hype for the Classic is way up and the game is actually sold out. Craig Reynolds, president and CEO of the Roughriders had this to say about the upcoming game:
“The environment in Mosaic Stadium for the Labour Day Classic is absolutely electric…Rider Nation always sets the tone for the game, and we know our sold-out crowd will have a big impact when we go head-to-head with the Bombers.”via riderville.com
Dealing with COVID and…
The week heading into the game wasn’t without incident of course, as we learned from Coach Dickenson’s COVID situation, but the team also suffered through quite the heat wave at practice this week.
Truthfully the team handled even that with class and a sense of humor, looking ahead to the Classic…Cody Fajardo, who wore long sleeves at practice despite the heat, had this to say on his wardrobe option:
“I don’t want to be red by Labor Day and a bunch of sunburns, so it protects me. I know my wife will be happy that I’ve got a long sleeve on – she’s always worried about me putting on sunscreen…”via CKOM
And speaking of the Riders QB, he had another reason to look onward and forward…as his wife is due to give birth to the couple’s first son any day. He had this to say on the prospect of a birth to go along with the win they’re hoping to get against the Bombers:
“Laura’s in town and she will be here for pretty much the rest of the season…The baby can come any day now and we’re on pins and needles in the Fajardo household.”via Regina Leader-Post
And on the thing occupying the other fraction of his mind…his career and the big game at hand, he had this to add:
“There isn’t anything like running out of that tunnel and being part of it is truly special in the CFL…I’m really looking forward to seeing the sea of green. We have a really good opportunity ahead of us against a really good Winnipeg team. We have to play our best football in order to have a chance.”via Regina Leader-Post (link above)
Mitchell Picton comments on his experiences with the Saskatchewan Roughriders
He’s been here for three seasons, yes, but he recently told the press that he is definitely not taking his chance with the Riders for granted. He is a Regina native and the opportunity means a lot to him, and even three years later, he is appreciative of the opportunity…living in the moment; taking it all in.
“It’s pretty surreal, to be honest with you…You have a new appreciation for it every day when you roll into the stadium. It’s such an incredible facility and I’m pretty lucky to be able to come here to work every day.”via Regina Leader-Post
He definitely has a strong support system and even head coach Dickinson is a big supporter and believer of his abilities out on the field. He’s been doing great for sure. More to come from this young star. Here’s some of what Dickinson had to say about the 27 year-old receiver:
“He has a work ethic and a team-first attitude. He’s a guy who just keeps coming to work every day and he does whatever you ask him to do. He’s very intelligent and he brings along players as well. It’s not just about him. He’s helping younger guys learn the system. He’s an outstanding football player and an outstanding human being.”via Regina Leader-Post (link above)
Here’s to the Labor Day Classic, Rider Nation.
As for the game, here is the injury report posted by the Riders on Twitter…as of the 2nd of September…
*For all of your 2022 CFL Season news: CFL News Hub