Riders look to fill Evans' shoes for second consecutive season

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are dealing with familiar territory after the loss of Shaq Evans due to injury.

“It’s a big loss and it’s also a big one emotionally. The good new is it’s not for the whole season. He’ll be out 6-8 and we hope when he’s back, he’s ready to roll,” said head coach, Craig Dickenson.

Evans suffered a fractured ankle in the first quarter of week three’s matchup against the Montreal Alouettes and is expected to be out six to eight weeks.

The Riders are now in a similar situation as last season when Evans broke his foot in week two and was out of the lineup until week 12.

“At least he’s been there and done it before so he knows it’s not the end of the world. He’ll get better, bones will heal, and he’s got a lot of support in the locker room,” said Dickenson.

Evans had already recorded 10 receptions for 185 yards this season. Tuesday was the first day the Riders took to the field since their 37-13 loss to the Alouettes and multiple receivers’ first opportunity to prove they can take Evan’s spot as a starter.

“The good news is this team is deep. We have a really talented receiving room,” said quarterback, Cody Fajardo. “I was hoping not to show it off this early in the season but, you know, if you want to be there the last game of the season, you have to have a really talented and deep team and I think we have that here.”

“We had a couple guys out there today. (Aristilde) Dieuly and Tevin Jones. I think it’s going to be a mix of those two and if we don’t feel like those two can do it, we’ll change our ratio and have a third Canadian receiver,” said Dickenson.

However, Jones is confident he can get the job done for the green and white.

“If I do get the start, which I know I already will in my head, you know, I have to plan for the best and hope for the best,” said Jones. “I’m going to do anything I can to make this team better and go out there and give my full effort.”

The Riders had a 3-4 record when Evans was out of the lineup in 2021.