October 17, 2017

Jones on Duron Carter: ‘He’s still exactly where he was’

Johany Jutras/CFL.ca

REGINA — Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach Chris Jones says that Duron Carter’s status with the team hasn’t changed following an altercation at practice Monday.

Jones answered reporters on Tuesday, confirming that an altercation had indeed occurred — but the second-year head coach/general manager wouldn’t go into further detail.

“[Duron Carter]’s a football player on our football team and he’s still exactly where he was,” Jones said of Carter in an interview with Riderville.com. “Our roster will be decided later in the week.

“We had a little altercation yesterday,” he added. “We’re not going to mention anything else . . . There are altercations at football practice and that’s what happened, it’s a violent sport and that’s what went on. That’s all the details we’re giving about it.”

Duron Carter celebrates one of his eight touchdowns so far in 2017 (The Canadian Press)

Various reports emerged on Monday that Carter and defensive back Sam Williams were at the centre of an altercation, with the possibility of some players and coaches being either released or suspended. TSN’s David Naylor said late Monday that contrary to reports, no one had been suspended or released at the time.

On Tuesday, Jones wouldn’t discuss possible discipline for Carter or Williams following the altercation. The Riders take on the Stampeders in Week 18 at McMahon Stadium.

Whatever the case, this isn’t the first time Carter has been in the spotlight — good or bad. The 26-year-old is one of the league’s most talented and physically-gifted players, recording a minimum of 909 yards and five touchdowns in each of his four CFL seasons.

Last week, in a loss to the Ottawa REDBLACKS, Carter hauled in 11 passes for a career-high 231 yards, putting him over 1,000 yards on the season.

As undeniable as Carter’s talent is his flare for the dramatics. In 2016, after returning from the NFL and signing with the Alouettes, Carter was suspended following an incident in a game involving REDBLACKS head coach Rick Campbell. Later, not long after an altercation with starting quarterback Rakeem Cato during practice, Carter was released by the Als.

Last weekend, after the Riders’ loss to Ottawa, Carter was the subject of criticism by former Riders receiver Jeff Fairholm, resulting in a heated debate.

While Carter responded, Jones showed little concern with his receiver’s conduct on social media. Instead, the Riders’ head coach emphasized his team’s focus on winning football games.

“Duron’s a grown man, he can do the things that he needs to do as long as it doesn’t affect this team in a negative way,” said Jones. “We’re a team. We do everything as a team. We practise as a team, we travel as a team, we work as a team. There are no individuals, I can tell you that.

“We’re here to do one thing, and that’s to get in the playoffs and win games. That’s it. That’s the only reason we’re here.”

The Riders can clinch a playoff spot with either one more win or a BC Lions loss.

– With files from Riderville.com