With KSB Out, Who Steps In?
Published: Thursday, Mar 23rd 2023, 4:03pm
by Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)
News just came out the other day that Saskatchewan Roughriders star receiver Kian Schaffer-Baker recently had hip surgery on a torn labrum and is set to miss some time to start the season. General Manager Jeremy O’Day said on The Sports Cage on 620 CKRM that they are expecting KSB to miss the first third of the season. So with that, who will step into his spot in the starting lineup at the beginning of the 2023 season?
First, I’m going to assume and continue to assume that the Riders are going to start two Canadian receivers and go with 8 Canadians starting regardless of this KSB injury. With that in mind, a lot of people were questioning the signing of Canadian receiver Juwan Brescacin. I happened to like the signing at the time and now I understand a bit more why it was done. Brescacin, despite his injury history, is a proven commodity and provides the Riders with a veteran that they are lacking in the Canadian receiving group.
While I don’t expect Brescacin to put up KSB numbers, he can start immediately alongside Brayden Lenius as the Canadian starters.
I truly do believe the Riders will implement more of a rotation between these receivers than going with two set starters and only giving them a breather a handful of times every game. Samuel Emilus and Mitch Picton both figure to get more playing time with KSB out, but I think this really gives a chance to Riley Boersma to come in and get on the active roster. I don’t think he would get a lot of reps, but this is his chance to take a special teams role and work his way up the ranks.
What the KSB injury also does is open the door for potentially another American receiver to get an opportunity, according to O’Day. With the Riders likely to start eight Canadians, they have flexibility here. A guy like Tevin Jones or last year’s training camp “Terrance Nunn Award Winner” Jester Weah could get in on more offensive plays. Maybe Mario Alford gets more of a shot to come in and contribute on offence in special packages in addition to his excellent returning abilities.
While the KSB injury sucks, we will get a chance to get an extended look at some other players that I’m excited about. I don’t expect one player to fill that role in the first part of the season, I expect a lot of different looks, packages and plays designed for everyone else. I think they ALL step up and you’ll see more of a “group effort” than trying out one guy and attempting to make it work. Ultimately, the team will be better when Schaffer-Baker is 100% going into the stretch run of the 2023 season, but I’m not ready to be doom and gloom about his absence.
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