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Canadian Football League (CFL)

CFL: Roughriders to work on playoff positioning vs. lowly Elks

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The bad news for the Saskatchewan Roughriders is that key players are dropping left and right late in the CFL season.

The good news is that they continue to win games and strengthen their hold on a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The even better news is that they have a great chance to make it three straight wins on Friday night when they travel to Edmonton for a clash with the down-and-out Elks.

A 19-14 victory Saturday night in Montreal improved Saskatchewan to 7-4, a game and a half ahead of third-place Calgary. Should the Roughriders stay in second, they would host a conference semifinal later this month.

However, they suffered a damaging loss in Montreal when top receiver Kyran Moore injured his right knee in the first quarter. Coach Craig Dickenson said Wednesday that Moore would miss the season’s remainder.

That’s a big loss, considering that he leads the CFL in catches with 64, good for 585 yards.

“He has been Mr. Consistency for us all year,” quarterback Cody Fajardo said to the Regina Leader-Post. “He does so much for us, but it’s not only football-wise because he brings a lot of energy to practice. We’re going to miss that a lot.”

Meanwhile, Edmonton (2-8) is simply playing out four more games’ worth of string in a disastrous year. Its 39-23 loss last week at home to Hamilton was its sixth consecutive defeat and dropped it to 0-6 at Commonwealth Stadium.

Worse, the Elks may have the dreaded “home-field disadvantage” this week. They drew about 10,000 last week, according to an estimate in the Edmonton Sun, and it’s likely that Saskatchewan’s large fan base will have more butts in seats than Edmonton’s.

“Losing six in a row, that’s on us,” said veteran offensive lineman Matt O’Donnell to the Sun. “We’ve got to put a better product on the field, so I’m not surprised if they feel like they’re not getting their value. That’s on us.

–Field Level Media

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