Riders’ receiver Carter to start at corner on Friday
REGINA — A bizarre week for Duron Carter and the Riders has just taken another twist, as the team has revealed that Carter will play both receiver and cornerback in the team’s Week 18 contest.
The Riders take on the Stampeders on Friday night at McMahon Stadium, where a victory clinches their first playoff berth since 2014.
The news first broke when CKRM’s Rod Pedersen tweeted that Carter will be the team’s starting corner this week. The CFL’s fifth-leading receiver was spotted throughout practice wearing a green No. 89 jersey, the colour green being worn by defensive players only.
Carter’s move to DB was later confirmed by the Riders, who tweeted that Carter will play both sides of the ball on Friday night, while Head Coach and General Manager Chris Jones told CJME’s Arielle Zerr, among others, that the team’s top receiver can expect to see ‘A LOT’ of playing time both on offence and defence.
— Sask. Roughriders (@sskroughriders) October 18, 2017
Carter has seen time at defensive back before this season, getting reps late in a blowout win over the Lions earlier in the year and then as recently as two weeks ago in a road win over the Argos. But he’s never started a game on defence, nor received consistent playing time at the defensive back position.
It certainly makes Friday night’s game one to watch. Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell has already prodded the outspoken pass-catcher on Twitter, promising to target him often. Carter, one of the league’s elite athletes, will also have his conditioning tested, something that was questioned by his coach earlier in the year.
Whatever happens, Wednesday’s move is a 180 degree turn from earlier reports that Carter could be released or suspended following a practice altercation on Monday. On Tuesday, Jones confirmed that an altercation had occurred but wouldn’t discuss possible discipline for Carter or defensive back Sam Williams.
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This week is not 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.
However, Carter’s flare for the dramatics is as obvious as his physical gifts. 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, he 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.