When it rains, it pours.
In Riderville, umbrellas weren’t enough to fight off this storm.
The week started Sunday with a loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Banjo Bowl.
Rider Nation thought that was bad. If they only knew what was ahead.
Wednesday, the team announced linebacker Rey Williams was out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL.
Captain Williams Down
Thursday, defensive back Dwight Anderson and receiver Taj Smith involved in some issues off the football field. Friday, receiver Eron Riley was also announced to be included in that same issue.
That same day, the team announced star receiver Weston Dressler is a no-go for Saturday’s game, while breakout right tackle Ben Heenan is also going to be missing against Toronto.
So, how was your week?
Saturday will likely be a relief for the Riders to get back on the field, between the white lines, where they’ll have three hours to escape from a trying week for their football team.
But the game against the Argos is going to put this team to the test.
After a 5-0 start to the season, the biggest question was how this team would handle their first wave of adversity.
We just weren’t expecting a tidal wive.
Now the Riders will answer that question about adversity as they’ve come to a fork in the road during a season many hope ends with a championship.
“It was a tough loss (to Winnipeg). It was tough losing Rey Williams. Super tough losing Rey, being he was our captain and our leader and with the other off field stuff it’s been tough,” acknowledged defensive end Ricky Foley.
“There is only two ways to go with everything in life, you either get stronger from it or you crumble. We’ll see what kind of fortitude we have on this team. We’ll see what kind of leadership we’ll have from the coaches down and hopefully this strengthens us and doesn’t make us weaker.”
And this game against the Argonauts will be the first indication of where this team is headed after an impressive start to the season.
After being sacked eight times last week, Darian Durant's offensive line is undergoing a makeover.
With Heenan out, Patrick Neufeld, who struggled at guard, moves back to tackle with Devin Tyler making his second start in place of Chris Best.
Dressler will be replaced by Kierrie Johnson, who last played a CFL game in October of 2012.
Williams, meanwhile, needs three players to replace him as Mike McCullough, Brian Peters and Diamond Ferri will rotate in at middle linebacker based on down and distance.
Not the amount of changes a team needs after arguably their worst effort of the season.
“Our ultimate goal is to win a Grey Cup. We know that there are going to be some bumps in the road, there are going to be some things that knock you off course a little bit and get you down.” explains Durant.
“But that’s part of life. Life goes hand and hand with football. You’re going to have some obstacles in life and you’re going to have some obstacles, which are losses, on the football field. It’s all about bouncing back and learning from them and being strong minded and I think that’s what this team is.”
Nobody knows for sure.
The events of this week gives sophomore Head Coach Corey Chamblin a challenge to bring a team in a bit of disarray together.
If he addresses the team similar to the way he addressed the media when asked about the decision to play Smith and Anderson just two days after their incident, there’s no doubt the Riders will face this adversity with a unified front.
“I will support every body on this team because we’re a family,” stressed Chamblin.
“It’s no different than your families. If you have something happen to one of your family members, you’re going to support them. Those guys are a part of this team and it doesn’t matter who it is, not just Dwight, but the whole team and we’re going to support them until we get to that point where we can’t anymore.”
In the meantime, Rider Nation is hoping to see some sun break through the storm clouds that have sat over this team all week.
Jamie Nye bleeds green and is the Roughrider insider for News Talk 980 CJME Regina and News Talk 650 CKOM Saskatoon. All of his Rider coverage can be found at www.GreenZoneFootball.com and you can follow him on Twitter @JamieNye.