Roughriders return to practice, still dealing with injuries

Kayle Neis/Regina Leader-Post. Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach Craig Dickenson watches a drill during practice at Mosaic Stadium.

To limit the reps to kicker Brett Lauther — who is dealing with a hamstring injury — the Roughriders have signed Canadian Campbell Fair.

Taylor Shire

Regina Leader-Post

Craig Dickenson is being cautious with his kicker.

The head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders is trying to limit Brett Lauther’s reps during practice as the kicker deals with a lingering hamstring injury. Lauther was held out of Tuesday’s workout at Mosaic Stadium.

“We’re trying to take it easy with him,” Dickenson told reporters after practice. “We think he’s going to be able to play though.”

Lauther also missed one day of practice last week before making his lone field goal in last Thursday’s 12-11 win against Edmonton. He also kicked the game-winning point on kickoff rouge with a minute to go.

Dickenson said Lauther can play through the bothersome injury, but to take some of the practice reps and to serve as an insurance policy, the Riders signed Canadian kicker Campbell Fair on Monday.

Fair was recently selected by the Calgary Stampeders in the sixth round, 51st overall in the 2023 CFL Draft and attended training camp. He connected on a 36-yard field goal during the pre-season before being released by the Stamps.

“It was really good working with Rene (Paredes),” Fair told media in Regina on Tuesday. “He’s been in the league for 13 years, one of the best to kick, so it was good to learn from him and get some pro experience.”

Fair headed back to Ontario and worked at his regular day job for the last few weeks, when the 23-year-old University of Ottawa Gee-Gees product recently got a phone call from the Riders.

“It came out of the blue, really,” said Fair. “I was working, on break, and then just got a call during break and it was a big surprise.”

And the call wasn’t the only big thing Fair was dealing with that day, but the actual job he was doing was quite large — literally.

“I work for a company that builds dinosaur exhibits for museums so I was working on a whale actually,” he said.

Fair has worked on whales that are in the Royal Ontario Museum as well as a few dinosaurs that are in the new Transformers movie. And while he’s been following in the footsteps of his father Matthew, who has been in the industry for 30 years, his bosses were quite considerate when Fair told them he was headed West to Saskatchewan on short notice.

“I was working there before I got drafted too so they were understanding for sure,” said Fair, who stayed ready by kicking every day after work and also on weekends in Belleville, Ont.

And while Lauther’s status is still to be determined ahead of Saturday’s home game against the Calgary Stampeders (5 p.m., Mosaic Stadium, TSN), Fair said he will be ready if called upon.

“If the opportunity came, I’d be more than happy to kick,” he said. “As a kicker, you should always be ready.”

Michelle Berg/Saskatoon StarPhoenix.
Saskatchewan Roughriders’ placekicker Brett Lauther points during a practice in Regina.

Other injuries

Along with Lauther, the Riders were also without defensive backs Rolan Milligan Jr. (back/foot), Amari Henderson (rib), C.J. Reavis (leg) and Kosi Onyeka (leg) on Tuesday.

Defensive linemen Anthony Lanier II (foot), Charbel Dabire (leg) and Lake Korte-Moore (leg) also missed practice along with offensive lineman Brandon Council, as Eric Lofton worked in his left tackle spot.

“We’re quite optimistic that most of the guys that weren’t out here today, will be out here on Day 2 or Day 3,” said Dickenson.

Centre Peter Godber (hand) and linebacker Matt Dean (foot) — who were both placed on the one-game injured list prior to last game — are still out.

Receivers Derel Walker, Jake Wieneke, Juwan Brescacin, Brayden Lenius and Kian Schaffer-Baker remain on the six-game injured list with defensive lineman Nic Dheilly, defensive back Godfrey Onyeka and offensive linemen Philip Blake and Jerald Hawkins.

Riders release Lipscomb

In a corresponding move to the signing of Fair to the practice roster, the Riders released American receiver Kalija Lipscomb on Monday.

Lipscomb did not appear in a CFL game for the Green and White but did have two catches for 22 yards in the pre-season, along with a touchdown.