The Roughriders have won three games in a row, but their latest win hasn’t come without controversy.
Fans, Winnipeg media and even quarterback Matt Nichols have accused the Riders of faking injuries when the Bombers were trying to implement their “no huddle” offence.
“I think everyone can see what’s going on, I don’t know if I need to say much more than that if you want to go play soccer, play soccer,” Nichols said post-game, referencing how soccer players play up injuries to draw penalties.
However, Ese Mrabure, who was one of the defensive tackles that went down under those circumstances, said he’s legitimately injured.
Mrabure is playing with a broken hand and was wearing a splint during practice Tuesday. He was wearing a complete covering he called a club for Sunday’s game.
“I think (the club) kind of gave a bit and so there was some pressure on the actual break,” Mrabure explained. “Stalling tactics, I heard that before but I took a shot and I went down and that’s basically what it was.”
“It’s a violent sport,” he continued. “Playing with a broken hand you never know when it’s going to give or when you will take that one shot that will get you down on one knee like myself and that’s how it was.”
Fans pointed to Mrabure specifically for faking because there was a photo of him circling in social media smiling after he went down.
Mrabure said he smiled when the trainer came out because he cracked a joke, but as he left the sideline the gesture was misconstrued.
“Coming off I was wincing in pain, really, but it looked like I was smiling because my teeth were showing.”
As for head coach Chris Jones, he said he hadn’t heard that the team was being accused of unsportsmanlike conduct, but denied it nonetheless.
“They can say whatever they need to say, their media guy controls what they get out, you know.”
“They play a very up tempo style and the guys get fatigued,” he added.
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