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Playoffs on the line as Riders play in Calgary

Riders Gameday Preview: Saskatchewan Roughriders play the Calgary Stampeders where they could either clinch a playoff spot, or take a big step towards being out of the playoffs
Head Coach Craig Dickenson on the sidelines against Calgary earlier this season

REGINA - It is almost a do-or-die game for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Calgary on Friday night.

The Roughriders face the Calgary Stampeders with an opportunity to clinch the final remaining playoff spot in the Canadian Football League with their seventh win of the season, and end the Stamps’ 17 year long string of playoff appearances.

But conversely, a loss in Calgary opens the door wide open for the four-win Stampeders to catch the Riders by season’s end. Losing would be a huge step for the Roughriders towards missing the playoffs again in 2023.

The Riders would then have one game left on the schedule, at home Oct. 21 against Toronto, but even if they were to win that game, they would still need the Stamps to lose at least once more the rest of the way. In short, the Riders lose control of their destiny.

The Roughriders also go into Calgary on a five game losing streak and are coming off their most embarrassing home defeat of the season, 38-13 to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats with the family of the late George Reed in the building at Mosaic Stadium. 

In speaking to reporters after the game, Head Coach Craig Dickenson said going into Calgary there was “a whole lot to work on in a short period of time.”

In that postgame, Dickenson said he believed confidence was an issue on the team, ever since the 51-6 shellacking the Riders took in the Banjo Bowl in Winnipeg.

“We’ve lost our confidence and we’ve lost a little bit of our mojo,” Dickenson said. “I don’t think it’s too late. Fortunately we still have a chance, you know, but if we don’t play better than that you’ll be one-and-done, even if you get in. And we don’t want to be one and done. So the goal is to find a way in these next six days, short week going into Calgary, and they’ve had a bye. It’s not going to get any easier for us, but we’ve got a find a way to play for pride, play for each other, see if we can’t put a game together where we’re playing all three phases — see what happens.”

Even though Jake Dolegala was pulled late in the Hamilton game for Mason Fine, Dolegala will once again get the start for the Roughriders at quarterback, with Fine backing up.

In a late development, the Riders have announced kicker Brett Lauther is not playing tonight: he goes on the one game injured list due to illness. Ryan Meskell is on the active roster in his place.

Game time is 7:30 p.m. CST.

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