This Riders' first-round pick is prepared to start for the first time since 2019
Wide receiver Justin McInnis will return to the field for his first game since 2019 in the Roughriders’ rematch against the Calgary Stampeders.
McInnis was selected sixth overall by the Riders in 2019 making his CFL debut in June, where he had 10 receptions for 149 yards.
He will replace Mitchell Picton, who has been placed on the one-game injured list.
Head Coach Craig Dickenson said McInnis has been working hard this month after an injury during training camp in July.
“We feel like he’s 100 per cent, we actually feel like he’s been 100 per cent for a while, so he’s earned his shot to play and with Picton being a little bit banged up it just happened to work out,” said Dickenson, adding the shift isn’t a demotion of Picton.
“This is just the ability to play the healthier guy in Justin McInnis, and I think he can add a little bit of length and some experience to our receiving core.”
McInnis said he is ready to leave his mark this season, and has been training to make sure he was mentally and physically prepared when his number was called.
“Ever since I got the news I’ve kind of been feeling like a kid on Christmas,” said McInnis., “I’m super excited to go back out there.”
This Thanksgiving weekend, his daughter and family will be in attendance, which McInnis said he is thankful for.
“Just for the opportunity I’m getting, like perfect, perfect timing. It’s a great reason to be thankful for something if you’re getting a start to play at Mosaic Stadium this coming weekend.”
While it will be exciting to have the support system there, he said he is focused on winning the game.
Last week the riders fell 23-17 to the Stampeders in Calgary.
Godfrey Onyeka, defensive back, said the Stamps came out stronger than they did in that game.
“We made a couple of mistakes in the beginning and then we settled down a bit and the game was still pretty close so we’re pretty confident going in to this one,” said Onyeka.
He doesn’t expect Calgary to be able to hold them off this time when they meet again in front of a home crowd on Saturday.
“We usually we feel like we play with more confidence than everyone else, but we didn’t match their energy to start the game so if we come out and do what we do play how we play and focus on us, we should be fine.”
The Roughriders are currently 5-3 , second in the West, heading in to the Week 10 match up.