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Jaxon Ford Injury Creates Questions and Opportunities in Riders Secondary

Published: Friday, May 3rd 2024, 9:05am

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)


On Monday’s Pre-Draft Conference call with the media, Saskatchewan Roughriders General Manager Jeremy O’Day announced that 2nd year DB Jaxon Ford underwent wrist surgery and will miss some of the upcoming 2024 season. Ford was expected to compete with Jayden Dalke for the starting Safety position in the Riders defensive secondary, but Ford’s absence creates a bit of uncertainty of what the plan is with the DBs.


Luckily the Riders have some depth with their Canadian defensive backs, with Dalke, Nelson Lokombo, Godfrey & Kosi Onyeka and newly signed Katley Joseph on the roster. There was some hope amongst fans and the previous coaching staff that Lokombo could be placed out at wide-side corner, but with Ford’s injury, maybe he’s brought in as Dalke’s backup/replacement when they sub out. The Onyeka’s could fill in at Safety in a pinch, but are mostly Special Teams guys, so I’m not sure there is much live reps for them. Joseph is a wildcard, being a rookie, but with the Ford injury, opportunity is there for him to grab a roster spot and play on Specials, impress and maybe get in on the defensive rotation.


Jaxon Ford (photo courtesy Saskatchewan Roughriders)


Or do the Riders end up going with an American in the Safety spot now? With the ratio potentially having 3 O-Linemen, 3 Receivers and a Linebacker starting, there is the flexibility to change things up a bit. And the green and white appear to have an abundance of solid DBs on the roster, this could get another one of them on the roster until Ford is ready to go. With Rolan Milligan Jr., Amari Henderson and Jalon Edwards-Cooper seemingly taking 3 of the 5 starting positions, maybe a newcomer like Antoine Brooks Jr., Holton Hill or Mark McLaurin grab a starting spot? And we can’t forget about last year’s find at corner Deontai Williams. He tailed off in the second half of the year, but to be fair, everyone on the team, especially on defense did.


So while the injury to Ford does suck and hurts the depth of the team, it just means that the door opens for another possible star to emerge for the Riders in a positional group that needs a shot in the arm after the last couple of seasons. We’ll start finding out what the plan may be in the secondary NEXT WEEKEND when Training Camp gets underway in Saskatoon on May 12!


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