The dark clouds were a metaphor for the Roughriders' current injury woes at Tuesday's practice at Mosaic Stadium on Day 2 of the work week.
Starting defensive tackle Jonathan Williams left the workout with injury and was immediately ruled out for Friday's game at Edmonton by Head Coach & GM Chris Jones.
Meanwhile starting right guard Brendon Labatte missed the practice entirely and Jones said Labatte injured himself Tuesday morning, possibly at home. He's not sure when the former CFL Lineman of the Year will be able to resume practicing.
And finally, Jones confirmed that offensive lineman Matt Sewell intends to retire and has subsequently been placed on the Riders' Retired List. Sewell was acquired from Toronto on Saturday in a package deal which sent defensive end Shawn Lemon to the Argonauts.
Meanwhile some Las Vegas oddsmakers have installed the Eskimos as 10.5-point favourites over the Roughriders for Friday night's game in Edmonton. Some of that may have to do with the hard feelings which linger over Chris Jones' departure from the Grey Cup champs for Saskatchewan in December. However the Riders feel they have their own motivation to focus on.
"I don't know, I don't really want to get into that (the Jones-Eskimos relationship)," offered Roughriders DB Ed Gainey. "We're just making this game as another opponent on the list. We've gotta come ready and it's all about our preparation right now. We're not really focused on the off-the-field stuff and what happened last year. We're focused on the X's and O's and what we got to get done this game."
Meanwhile the Roughriders have released quarterback Philip Sims.
The Riders visit the Eskimos Friday night at 8:00 on TSN and the CKRM Roughriders Radio Network.