When it comes to the Saskatchewan Roughriders and injuries, they just can’t seem to catch a break.
The team announced on Wednesday that defensive back Weldon Brown is done for the 2015 season with a torn pectoral muscle.
“It’s the same old thing. You guys can just play the tape recording from the four or five other we keep on losing,” said head coach Corey Chamblin.
Brown becomes the 11th name added to the team’s six-game injured list. Brown joins quarterback Darian Durant and defensive lineman Levi Steinhauer as players who won’t be coming off that list until the season is over.
Other important names out for the team right now include receiver Ryan Smith, linebacker Shea Emery and defensive back Keenan MacDougall.
“It’s obviously devastating when you lose a leader on the defence and obviously how we lost the quarterback, but no one feels sorry for you,” said defensive lineman Derek Walker.
“It’s kind of just what happens in the game sometimes. You have to rally for those guys. I look at it that we have to play for Weldon as we do for Durant and anyone else that may go down.”
This injury is a big blow to the Riders secondary. Brown is perhaps the team’s best player in coverage. That wasn’t more noticeable than during the game against the Lions.
Brown followed star Lions receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux all over the field. It wasn’t until late in the game when Brown went out that Arceneaux became much of a factor in the game.
“He’s a great player player. His reactions, everything, the way he plays the game is top speed. He’s a great player to watch,” said safety Tyron Brackenridge.
Strangely enough, it was a freak play on Arceneaux that caused Brown to get injured. Chamblin believes his finger caught Arceneaux’s facemask and that caused the torn muscle.
When the Riders brought in defensive back Geoff Tisdale on Tuesday, there was certainly a belief that the injury to Brown had to be serious. Now that it’s been confirmed, Tisdale and the rest of the depth on the team will be tested the rest of the way.
“We have to adjust. I think we have some good quality guys in backup roles that we can depend on. So, it’s time to see what those guys have,” said Chamblin.
Defensive Play Calling
Not only do the players have to adjust to life without Brown, so will the defensive play callers.
When Greg Quick was hired as the team’s defensive coordinator it was understood that throughout the year he would slowly take over more of the team’s defensive play calling.
“It’s an ongoing process. It happens on a daily basis,” said Quick.
“A lot of what happens during the game, Corey and I work jointly on throughout the week. Much of what’s happening has been a unified effort.”
Quick compared the setup between him and Chamblin to that of the Green Bay Packers of the NFL. Then head coach Mike Holmgren may have made most, if not all, of the offensive play calls, but he still had a team behind him putting it all together.
Quick doesn’t see any reason why that can’t work on defence with this team.
“I’m the chief operations officer of, if you will, this defensive organization. Obviously, Corey is the CEO,” said Quick.
News and Notes
Defensive lineman Tearrius George did not practice on Wednesday. Chamblin still anticipated that George would play Friday night against the Lions.
Linebacker Nehemie Kankolongo also didn’t practice and is likely to miss Friday night’s game.
The Riders added a Canadian linebacker on Wednesday signing former Blue Bomber Dan West. In 45 games with Winnipeg, West has picked up 28 special teams tackles.