It was a bad night all around for the Roughriders.
The third loss of the season would have been enough, but the Roughriders also lost starting quarterback Darian Durant.
The injury came in the second quarter when a B.C. defender hit Durant’s legs. A roughing the passer call came shortly after.
Post-game Durant confirmed his x-rays came back negative. He said knew right away that it wasn’t his Achilles, after that he was most worried about a break.
“The thing I did know was it wasn’t a season ending injury, because I was able to move it around, put some weight on it and I was able to make another play after I got hurt,” he said.
That play was a 31 yard touchdown pass to Rob Bagg for the Riders first touchdown of the game making the score 9-7 Riders.
“It was rough, it was hard for me to get up off the ground obviously, but I found the will and the strength somewhere to make that throw.”
After the touchdown, the pain started to settle in, and he decided it would be best he didn’t try to play. Durant was checked out for a while by the trainers on the sideline before heading back to the locker room. He was next seen with crutches. Durant said it’s a severe ankle sprain, but it’s too early to say when he’ll be able to play again.
But Durant rebuked the suggestion that he might be injury prone, pointing to the play itself as the reason for his injury, calling it “borderline dirty”.
“I don’t care who you are, when you see that hit and when people see that hit, it doesn’t matter what your situation is, you’re going to be hurt from that,” he said.
Head Coach Chris Jones seemed to back up those sentiments as well.
“Ninety (Mic’hael Brooks) tried to do a good job of pretending he didn’t mean to hit Darian,” Jones said after the game. “We got to take a good look at that, I think, to make sure we protect our quarterbacks. They’re too valuable in this league.”
After Durant’s injury, back up Mitchell Gale took over the offence, throwing a nine yard touchdown pass to Nik Demski with about three minutes left.
Gale has been a backup for a while, but he said this was the first time he came in for an injured starter, and the most time he’s ever played since a preseason game.
“Obviously there was an adjustment in the first couple of plays,” Gale said. “I think those first two plays that we were in there I tried to press too much and I had to pull my head out of my butt and settle in and focus on what my job was.”
And it seemed like he had. The Riders took a 23-10 lead into halftime, but it started to break down in the third.
Gale said he’s not exactly sure what went wrong in the second half, but he said he had to give the defence credit for whatever adjustment they made.
Riders continued to drop out of the game with injuries after Durant did. LaBatte, Cox, Chambers, Walter and Chiles all went down too. Jones didn’t have specific updates on any of them, but stressed the team didn’t lose because of the injuries.
“We lost because we took too many penalties on special teams in the second half … and then we had … two coverage busts for touchdowns,” he said.
Saturday’s loss leaves the Roughriders 0-3 on the season.
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