The Saskatchewan Roughriders take to the field Thursday night in Regina for the first regular-season game of 2016, which may leave some fans overwhelmed by the number of new names on the roster.
To help you out, here are five players to know before the 8 p.m. kickoff.
- #0 Jonathan Newsome – The former NFL player was released by the Indianapolis Colts following a marijuana charge that was later dropped. The defensive lineman has impressed in training camp showing why he was able to tally six sacks in a short NFL career before joining the Riders. He’s so good he may push big free agent signing Shawn Lemon out of a starting spot.
- #2 Curtis Steele – One of a few former Argos will make his debut as a Rider on Thursday. The running back has never been able to grab hold of a regular starting spot in the CFL. His over 800 yards of offense in 2014 showed his potential and the Riders are hoping with more opportunity, he’ll become one of the top backs in the CFL.
- #3 Ricky Collins Jr. – The rookie receiver is getting his first opportunity in professional football. One of the few raw rookies on the Riders, he showed well in the second pre-season game, leading the team in receiving. He has the makings of a rookie-of-the-year candidate, though he’ll have players pushing him throughout the season if he doesn’t perform.
- #12 John Chiles – He was starting to become a top receiver in the league in Toronto before heading to the NFL for a few years. If he can get his game back to where it was when he left the CFL, he could become one of Darian Durant’s top targets.
- #35 Greg Jones – The free agent from Toronto has flown under the radar the last couple of years. But he may turn out to be the best signing the Riders made this off-season as the middle linebacker will be a welcome addition to the team who has been without a stalwart middle linebacker for a few seasons.