Four Saskatchewan Roughriders suffer serious, likely season-ending injuries within 6 minutes of each other

The Saskatchewan Roughriders were hit hard late last week, two days before training started as four players went down with major injuries in a six minute period during a workout at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan.

The four players – Larry Dean, Nelson Lokombo, Freddie Bishop and Jonathan Femi-Cole – each tore an Achilles tendon during a single workout session last Thursday..

Due to the team’s policy for their health and safety plan, the coaches and personal staff were not allowed to attend the workout sessions.

The four injuries are still being evaluated, but are expected to be long term.

The Riders players had arrived in Regina for training camp a week in advance to sit through a seven-day quarantine. After a third negative COVID test, players were able to participate in distanced on-field workouts. Thursday was the third day of such workouts.

The four injuries occurred in quick succession during non-contact, non-competitive drills designed to get players warmed up for the season and reduce the risk of injury during training camp.

Roughriders General Manager Jeremy O’Day:

“It’s hard for me to explain and it’s really a freak thing when you have that many (injuries) in such a short period of time. I don’t remember having that many injuries, regardless of the injuries, that close together.”

O’Day blamed the injuries on the extra long layoff between intense football activities.

“One of the reasons for these workouts … was to start to ease them back into playing football,” he said.

As for the upcoming training camp exercises, O’Day said the injuries have caused the team to re-evaluate and eliminate some of the exercises they had previously planned on taking the players through.

“We adjusted the schedule that was already dialled back a bit and dialled it back even more,” O’Day said.

The GM does not believe the field at Mosaic Stadium played a role in the unfortunate development, but the Riders have already amended their practice plans in the hopes of preventing further damage to the team.

Roughriders head coach Craig Dickenson admits that the injuries are a terrible blow to the team (via 3 Down Nation):

“It’s a real gut shot. I think the team is still in a little bit of shock to be quite honest, but we’re going to work through it and try to support those guys as best we can. Try to give them all the reassurances that we can that we’ll do everything we can to get them healthy again and back on the field,” Dickenson said.

“As a coach, knowing that it really was damaging to our team, but also as just a human being and knowing that you got four young men that have worked really hard to put themselves in position to play football.”

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