The Roughriders returned from their bye week and held a rainy practice on Monday at Taylor Field. They began the day with a good news press release:
- The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced national offensive lineman Brendon LaBatte has signed an extension to remain with the team through 2017. As per club policy, financial details of the contract were not released.
LaBatte joined the Green and White as a free agent in February, 2012 after originally being selected by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the first round (6th overall) of the 2008 CFL Draft. The 30-year-old native of Weyburn, Saskatchewan has played 139 career regular season games, with 137 starts, appearing mainly at left guard.
The University of Regina product has played six CFL playoff games and two Grey Cup games, including the Riders 2013 championship.
Currently in his ninth year, LaBatte has picked up seven career Division All-Star nominations and four CFL All-Star nominations. He was also named the CFL's Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman in 2013.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced the following roster moves:
ADD TO PRACTICE ROSTER:
· International defensive back Larry Raper (North Carolina A&T)
· International defensive lineman Ian Seau(Nevada)
· International defensive lineman Devaunte Sigler (Jacksonville State)
· International offensive lineman Aundrey Walker(Southern California)
· National running back Jordan Wilson-Ross(Ottawa)
· International defensive back Derrius Brooks
· International defensive back Demetrice Morley
· International running back Josh Robinson
Labatte met with reporters and while he hasn't yet returned to practice due to a head injury, he says hasn't ruled out a return to game action this season.
New wide receiver Jeff Fuller practiced with the team for the first time since signing with the club on Saturday.
The former Calgary Stampeder was a recent cut of the NFL's Seattle Seahawks. He said he thought he had a good camp in Seattle, but was among the first cuts.
Fuller said he signed with the Riders because they were the first to call, and that his agent advised Saskatchewan made the best offer. He said he's not concerned with the club's 3-10 record or their bleak outlook for the playoffs. He was just looking for a "good fit".
He also said his close relationship with the Riders' John Murphy was a big factor.
Quarterback Darian Durant said the bye week was a tough one for him. His uncle Michael Gordon (Darian's mother's brother) passed away from a heart attack at age 52 but Durant was pleased to be able to attend the funeral. Gordon was a frequent visitor to Roughriders games, even more than Durant's mother.
Meanwhile Riders Head Coach & GM Chris Jones fielded several questions from reporters. Regarding the release of running back/returner Kendial Lawrence on Saturday, Jones said the move was strictly "production-based".
The Riders' next game is Friday night at Ottawa on 620 CKRM and TSN.