Fans may be eager to get their first look at Darian Durant in almost a year, but it’s not coming Saturday.
Durant will dress for the game, but will not see any field time, according to head coach Chris Jones, who instead is opting to test out his backup quarterbacks.
“He’s not going to take any snaps,” Jones said of Durant after practice. “So it’s going to be a three man race there, we’ve got to get 19 (Phillip Sims) up to speed academically, and if so, it’ll be a three man race.”
Last year’s backup Brett Smith and league rookie B.J. Coleman will take snaps alongside Sims, who just joined the team earlier this week when the Roughriders cut Jacob Huesman.
“He’s certainly got all the physical tools,” Jones said of Sims. “There’s no throw he can’t make, he’s got a tremendous arm and when the ball comes out of his hand he throws a real catchable ball. So we’re real excited about him.”
With about half of training camp in the bag now, the coach said his team is ready to play a game.
“They’re doing pretty good, we didn’t have a very good day yesterday or today as far as execution but they know what they’re supposed to do, we’ve had tons of walk-throughs now, they’re ready to play somebody else.”
And the players are thrilled for their first game of the season.
“I’m really excited,” said Smith. “There is a whole off-season of work, it’s good to finally put the pads on and hopefully have the hard work pay off.”
Second year receiver Naaman Roosevelt – who has been a favourite target for the quarterbacks at camp – is equally excited for Saturday’s game against the Lions.
“We’ve been seeing each other for two weeks, it’ll be good to hit somebody else,” adding he thinks all the quarterbacks have been looking good to him, especially Brett Smith.
Tickets are still available for Saturday’s game at Mosaic Stadium. It starts at 7 p.m.
With files from Wray Morrison