Anthony Allen will return to the Riders backfield for the Labour Day Classic on Sunday.
Allen has been out of the Riders lineup for the last three games in favour of Steven Miller. From the outside, it appeared that Allen was again in head coach Corey Chamblin’s doghouse, but the running back says that wasn’t the case.
“I think it was some other situations going on that we couldn’t get another American on the field,” Allen said.
With a new coach comes new ideas and a new way to build the roster.
So, it appears that interim head coach Bob Dyce will be making some changes to the team’s final 44-man roster this week to make room for Allen on the game-day roster.
“(Allen), from the day he got here, he’s a true professional,” said Dyce.
“He brings such a solid background to both our special teams and our offence.”
“It feels great to be back out here with my brothers on the team.” — Anthony Allen.
It’s no secret what Allen brings to the Riders offence. Over his year and a half with the team, when he’s actually been given a chance to play on a regular basis, he’s been on pace to eclipse the 1,000 rushing-yard mark.
However, according to Dyce, Allen brings a lot to the Riders special teams units as well.
“That’s why I say (Allen) is a pro. If he’s not playing offence, he’s truly an offensive player that can play on all four teams,” he said.
“The challenge I had in my previous role — he’s such a good back, all of a sudden you put him on three teams and then all of a sudden he’s got 15 carries in the first half. Now, you’re wearing him down.”
As the head coach, Dyce will really have to try and find that balance for Allen to be effective on both special teams and offence.
Allen was practicing throughout the week on the Riders punt-cover unit.
While it may seem odd to put such a skilled player on different special teams units, it’s actually a role that Allen welcomes so much he asked Dyce to be on special teams throughout the year.
“I was a special teams guy when I played in the NFL. So, when I came over, I was still interested in special teams,” he said.
No matter the role Allen ends up playing on Sunday, he’s just glad to be back with his teammates on game day.
“It feels like how everybody would imagine how it feels. It feels great to be back out here with my brothers on the team,” he said.
“I’ve been out here with them but in a practice squad role. Now, it’s a little more fun, getting back with the guys that you’re used to playing with and going out and executing with.”
News and Notes
Offensive lineman Xavier Fulton did not practice on Friday. Dyce told reporters after practice that Fulton was taking a vet day and he should be available to play on Sunday.
Linebacker Nehemie Kankolongo looks like he will return to the lineup this week after being on the six-game injured list.
Defensive lineman Andre Monreo also appears poised to make his first CFL start.