STREAMING CFL PPV: Saskatchewan Roughriders @ BC Lions, Aug. 27, 04:30 CET (4:30 am, 10:30 pm ET, Aug. 26)

VANCOUVER — For the third time this season and second week in a row, the BC Lions will take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders in a critical West Division showdown. While the teams will have familiarity with each other, a number of new faces change the dynamics of this meeting.

Week 11 saw the Lions walk into Mosaic Stadium and pick up a 28-10 win. This week it will be the Riders trying to earn a road victory when they travel to BC Place for a 10:30 p.m. EDT kickoff.

The Lions’ win came at a significant cost, as star quarterback and Most Outstanding Player frontrunner Nathan Rourke went down with a foot injury. Rourke, who leads the league in passing yards and touchdowns, will undergo surgery for the sprain in his right foot.

That means backup Michael O’Connor will get the bulk of the snaps when the Lions host the Riders Friday night. O’Connor held his own last week in limited action after Rourke’s injury, making all five of his passes for 36 yards. Antonio Pipkin, who has been used in some rushing situations this year, may also see some snaps.

O’Connor is ready to take the reins and show his team that he’s capable of handling the added load.

“I’ve been working hard,” O’Connor told “I’ve always said, ‘You never know when an opportunity is going to come.’ I know it’s unfortunate that this is how it happened, but at the same time I have to be ready, ready to keep this thing rolling. I want to do what I’ve been doing my entire career, go out there and let it fly.”

» Depth Chart: SSKBC
» Riders, Lions Injury Reports: Stay up to date

The Leos’ receivers have proven to be some of the most dangerous in the league all season long and their play will be even more important Friday. Lucky Whitehead caught nine passes for 136 yards with a touchdown a week ago and Dominique Rhymes brought down six receptions for 127 yards. Bryan BurnhamJevon Cottoy and Keon Hatcher should also be regular targets.

Not only will Rourke’s absence be felt in the air, it will also be noticeable in the run game. He called is own number three times for 63 yards in Week 11. Luckily for the Leos, James Butler has been more than capable of handling the running back responsibilities. He’s rushed for 449 yards on 110 carries with three touchdowns.

Defensively, the Lions have allowed just 20.6 points per game, the second lowest mark in the league so far this season. They’ve been able to maintain it by limiting the opposition to 225.1 passing yards per game and 75.1 rushing yards, both of which are league lows.

Linebacker Jordan Williams leads the team with 39 defensive tackles, while seven different Lions have forced a fumble. When Saskatchewan looks to put the ball on the ground, the play of defensive linemen Mathieu BettsTim BonnerObum Gwacham and Josh Banks will be put to the test.

The quarterback situation in Saskatchewan is also somewhat up in the air. Starter Cody Fajardo went 8-13 for 41 yards with two interceptions before backup Mason Fine took over for the majority of the game last week. Fine finished 16-26 for 210 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Fajardo will get a chance to redeem himself as he’s listed as the starter on Friday night.

The Riders’ receiving corps is also battling some injuries. D’haquille Williams and Justin McInnis are out, but it’s not all bad news on the receiving front as Kyran Moore checks back in after missing time with an injury.

The running back situation will also be murkier on Friday. Running back Jamal Morrow needed surgery for a broken hand suffered in the Week 11 loss and is reportedly expected to miss upward of two months. Morrow currently leads the league with 564 rushing yards. With Morrow out, the handoffs will be given to Frankie Hickson, who has rushed 35 times for 234 yards.

Riders head coach Craig Dickenson is confident that Hickson can step up and fill the gap left in Morrow’s absence.

“He has great acceleration,” Dickenson told “I think Jamal has more left-to-right, a little more lateral quickness. Frankie, when he puts his foot in the ground and goes north-south, he’s got a lot of speed, so I think you have a little more downhill traditional tailback style with Frankie. Both are very good football players and good teammates. We feel good about Frankie.”

If the Riders walk out of BC Place with a win, it will likely be largely thanks to the play of their defence. Defensive lineman Pete Robertson wasted no time reintroducing himself to opposing quarterbacks, recording his team leading eighth sack of the season in last week’s loss.

The talented linebacker corps of Larry DeanDarnell Sankey and Derrick Moncrief will be expected to wreak havoc on the Lions’ offence.

The Lions will try to keep pace with the division-leading Winnipeg Blue Bombers without their star quarterback Friday. The Riders are trying to get back above .500 with a win.

AFI, Visaic and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Visaic and the Canadian Football League to present 2022 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the topflight TSN network television broadcast.



Watch the game live here PPV. Calgary Stampeders @ Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Aug. 26, 02:30 CET (2:30 am, 8:30 pm ET, Aug. 25)

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