LIVESTREAM PPV: CFL – Saskatchewan Roughriders @Toronto Argonauts, Sat. Sept. 28, 7p EDT (1a Sept. 29 CEDT)

TORONTO — The Saskatchewan Roughriders will get to scratch the two-week itch and return to the field on Saturday evening when they face the Toronto Argonauts at BMO Field.

The Roughriders were hot heading into their bye week, having won seven of their previous eight games. Thanks to their recent stretch of good form, the Riders can guarantee themselves a playoff berth with a victory over Toronto.

“It hasn’t been the talk around the locker room,” defensive back Ed Gainey told Riderville.com when asked about clinching a playoff spot. “The guys know what we have at stake. These last six games being against mostly western opponents, it’s going to come down to the wire. I guess our antennas are up a little bit more and we’re just taking it a day at a time.”

» Depth Charts: SSK | TOR

Cody Fajardo has been getting the headlines for the Riders, and rightfully so, but William Powell was a key to Saskatchewan’s success in recent weeks. In the team’s only loss over the last eight games, Powell was limited to only one rushing yard on four carries.

Toronto’s run defence is ranked eighth in the league, giving up an average of nearly 120 yards per game. When the teams met in Week 3, Powell earned over 100 all-purpose yards in a commanding win.

Fajardo has good memories of that Week 3 matchup. It served as the quarterback’s coming out party, as he passed for 430 yards and two touchdowns. Fajardo also plunged into the end zone for a score, capping off his first win as a starter.

“We want to take care of the football and we want to be good on first down,” head coach Craig Dickenson said. “A lot of takeaways happen when you’re in second and longs. Our focus is to be efficient with what we’re doing and make Toronto earn it if they’re going to score.”

One of the CFL’s greats is looking to inch closer to a career milestone Saturday. S.J. Green is 150 yards shy of 10,000 receiving yards in his career. The 13-year veteran has caught passes from two of the game’s legends – Anthony Calvillo and Ricky Ray – and is a three-time Grey Cup champion.

Green will have to turn it on in the latter part of the season if he hopes to reach the 1,000-yard mark for the seventh time in his career, and he only has two touchdown receptions this season.

The man tasked with helping Green eclipse the 10,000-yard plateau is James Franklin. Franklin took over for McLeod Bethel-Thompson midway through Toronto’s loss to the Calgary Stampeders last week. Franklin got the Argonauts within a touchdown late, but ultimately couldn’t make up the deficit.

“I’m just trying to help this team win,” Franklin told Argonauts.ca. “Keeping a good attitude is the biggest thing. Coming here [last season], I kind of conditioned myself to think ‘safe throw, be careful, don’t try to make anything happen’. Some people say if you don’t take risks you don’t grow, and I wasn’t doing much growing.”

With Franklin behind centre, Derel Walker’s play is worth keeping an eye on. Walker caught five passes for 123 yards through the first two games of the season – both of which were Franklin starts. The two-time CFL All-Star seemed to click with Bethel-Thompson and is now leading Toronto with 949 receiving yards this season.

“It’s always a tough decision there,” Head Coach Corey Chamblin said when asked about starting Franklin. “In the latter part of the game, there was a bit of a spark there with James. Where we are in the season, you’re not just looking for offensive output, but to generate some points. Hopefully we can get that done with James.”

While Fajardo had a field day when the teams met in early July, Franklin struggled, throwing for 224 yards and two picks. It was also the game in which the 28-year-old pivot got injured, clearing the way for Bethel-Thompson to take the reins of the offence.

This will be a homecoming of sorts for Fajardo, who spent two seasons sporting double blue. While clinching a playoff spot is motivation enough, doing so in front of your old teammates would be extra sweet for the quarterback.

The Riders made a splash a few weeks ago with the signing of Jordan Williams-Lambert. The receiver notched 764 receiving yards for Saskatchewan last season, but he’s being given one more week to learn the offence before being thrown into game action.

Charleston Hughes will return to the Riders’ lineup after missing one game due to injury, while offensive guard Brendon LaBatte makes his 2019 debut.

For the Argos, defensive end Robbie Smith has been added to the six-game injured list, while Jonathon Mincy will make his first start as an Argo at corner since signing a couple of weeks ago. Mincy was a star with the Alouettes before spending time with the NFL’s Chicago Bears.

BY THE NUMBERS

6 – Straight wins for Saskatchewan versus Toronto – the longest winning streak for the franchise against the Argos.

686 – In addition to nearing 10,000 yards, S.J. Green is 14 catches away from 700 in his career.

4-0 – Riders record when coming off the bye over the last two seasons.

4 – Consecutive games with a touchdown for Derel Walker.

– With files from Riderville.com and Argonauts.ca

AFI, Yare Media and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Yare Media and the Canadian Football League to present 2019 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

LIVE STREAM PPV: CFL – Saskatchewan Roughriders @Toronto Argonauts, Sat. Sept. 28, 7p EDT (1a Sept. 29 CEDT)

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