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Blue Bombers look to clinch playoff berth vs. Roughriders

Sportsnaut
Aug 25, 2022; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN;  Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros (8) reacts to an injured teammate during the second half against the Calgary Stampeders at IG Field. Winnipeg wins 31-29. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers will be out to become the first team this season to clinch a CFL playoff spot when they visit the Saskatchewan Roughriders Sunday at Regina.

Winnipeg (10-1), the defending Grey Cup champion, would reach the postseason for the sixth straight season with a win over Saskatchewan (6-5).

It will be the first meeting between the teams this season, with the next two at Winnipeg on Sept. 10 and 30.

The Blue Bombers are coming off a 31-29 victory over the Calgary Stampeders on Aug. 25 with quarterback Zach Collaros going 19-for-26 in passing for 294 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Nic Demski had eight catches for 117 yards and a TD.

The Roughriders are coming off a 23-16 victory over the B.C. Lions on Aug. 26. Quarterback Cody Fajardo was 19-for-24 for 321 yards and two TDs.

The Roughriders announced Wednesday that coach Craig Dickenson tested positive for COVID-19 but was expected to return to the team Saturday.

The Roughriders have allowed a league-high 44 sacks this season with Fajardo the victim 39 times in the 10 games that he has played.

“You have to realize that our offensive line has no continuity,” Fajardo said. “Every single week it seems like we have a new offensive lineman starting. Once we get those guys feeling good about playing five strong up front, I have all of the faith in the world in them.”

Blue Bombers defensive ends Willie Jefferson and Jackson Jeffcoat will provide a stern test on Sunday.

“If we can get to Cody (Fajardo) and make him rush his reads and not be able to find second and third options, we’ll be really good up front,” Jefferson said.

“We have to rush well,” Jeffcoat said. “You have to get to him quick because if he’s able to use his legs and create more plays their receivers are hard to cover.”

Winnipeg defensive backs Demerio Houston (abdomen) and Patrice Rene (knee), as well as linebacker Malik Clements (quadriceps), will not play.

Saskatchewan defensive lineman David Kenney (shoulder) and linebacker Justin Rice (knee) are out.

–Field Level Media