While the entire team has struggled, this has been an especially tough year for Saskatchewan Roughriders’ star receiver Weston Dressler.
Through 14 games, Dressler has 673 yards receiving. At this current pace, the North Dakota native will finish the year with 865 yards – a new career low for a full season.
Is Dressler dealing with a nagging injury that’s slowing him down?
“Any time you get through 14 (games), there’s obviously the nicks and bruises. Really, I’m feeling really good. I can’t complain about anything right now,” said Dressler.
Dressler hasn’t struggled for the entire season. The receiver recorded at least 70 yards receiving in each of his first four games after missing most of the pre-season and the opening week of the regular season with an injury.
Since then, Dressler has only surpassed that mark once when he picked up 86 yards against the Ottawa Redblacks on Aug. 30.
Over the course of those eight games, Dressler has average just 33.75 yards per game, including two games where he didn’t even finish the game with 20 yards.
“We had some different things going on with different quarterbacks,” he said.
“I’ve definitely had opportunities to make plays. Just missed a few here or there. Whether it’s a little over thrown, a dropped pass, a protection issue – it just seems like every time we have an opportunity make that big play something along the lines of that play will go wrong.”
Dressler isn’t the only one who thinks that the plays are still there to be made, the coaches are seeing it too.
“If you look at the interception (against B.C.), he’s going up the seam; if we locate the ball, he’s got a 50-60 yard touchdown. The week before, there’s a corner route that was just slightly overthrown,” said interim head coach Bob Dyce.
“I can go back in my mind to the Winnipeg game and I could probably think of 70 to 100 yards that he would have had if we would have located the ball or maybe had correct reads.”
Another reason why Dressler isn’t pilling up the numbers we’re accustomed to seeing could be the changes at quarterback this season.
Dressler and Durant have a known chemistry that Dressler might not have that with Kevin Glenn and Brett Smith.
For his part, Glenn feels he could stick with Dressler more.
“You can’t help sometimes what a defence does. We always want to make sure we continue to implement him in the offence,” he said.
“I think sometimes as quarterbacks we have to do a better job of sticking with him a little longer sometimes and understanding that his abilities can get him out of those double teams sometimes.”
NEWS AND NOTES
Dyce told reporters on Wednesday that barring something unforeseen, receiver Chris Getzlaf would return to the lineup on Friday in Hamilton.
Defensive backs Tyree Hollins and Tristan Jackson along with linebacker Jeff Knox Jr. did not practice on Wednesday. All could still play against the Ticats.
Centre Dan Clark did not practice again on Wednesday. Look for Corey Watman to start in his place.
The Riders also signed receiver Ryan Lankford to their practice roster on Wednesday.