Corey Chamblin updates Rey Williams, talks offensive struggles
The Roughriders will return to practice on Wednesday at Mosaic Stadium even as two big questions remain on the minds of many in Rider Nation.
First is the status of linebacker Rey Williams, who left Sunday's Banjo Bowl with an apparent knee injury. Williams was seen leaving the field on crutches after being on the bench with a wrap and ice on his right knee.
On Tuesday head coach Corey Chamblin met with the media and didn't have much of an update. He said he would be meeting with medical staff later in the afternoon and would likely have a better idea of the severity on Wednesday.
"First thing, just had swelling and different things," said Chamblin. "I wasn't told anything bad, wasn't a fracture or anything like that."
That was based on the original x-ray the team had done in Winnipeg but further testing will tell the tale for Williams. Chamblin wouldn't completely rule out Williams this week but the odds are good he won't be playing against the Argos on Saturday evening.
Chamblin remains vague about who would replace Williams on Saturday evening. Veteran linebacker Mike McCullough did so on Sunday afternoon but Chamblin feels there are some other options they'll explore throughout the week, including the possibility of taking Abraham Kromah off the nine-game injured list.
"He's a consideration also," said Chamblin. "There's a couple of different guys we've rotated at that spot to make sure to see exactly how they'll fit."
One thing that would have to be taken into consideration on whether to take Kromah off the injured list or not is offensive lineman Chris Best. Kromah would be the team's last nine-game injured list exemption, so Best would have to stay on until week 19 even if he's good to go before.
Taking Best off the nine-game could be a consideration down the road if the team need to keep a pass rush at bay. That was something the Riders struggled with mightily in the Banjo Bowl.
At the end of the day, Chamblin felt the biggest difference was the deafening crowd at Investors Group Field.
"Any time it's pretty loud, communication or anything to exactly say who is coming from where, it's a tough situation," said Chamblin. "Any situation when you're on defense, it's a lot easier to tee off when you can't communicate."
Chamblin actually feels the crowd as one of the loudest he's ever heard in the CFL.
"I was screaming at (Offensive Coordinator George Cortez) on the headphones trying to ask him some questions and we couldn't hear each other," said Chamblin. "We had the microphones, how loud is it going to be if you're right next to each other?"
The Bombers also did a lot of different things that the Riders haven't seen before so everything combined was basically a recipe for disaster.
As for any changes along the offensive line this week, specifically moving Ben Heenan and Patrick Neufeld back to their natural positions, Chamblin feels the line should be able to work as is. He concedes there is a possibility there could be some changes as well. They're also looking at different ways to increase protection.