GAME DAY: Riders open pre-season in Fort McMurray

By Joel Gasson
June 13, 2015 - 8:32am Updated: June 18, 2015 - 9:02am

The Riders return to the football field on Saturday night.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are in Fort McMurray taking on the Edmonton Eskimos in their first pre-season game of the 2015 season.

"We ended the season playing Edmonton. Here we go again. It's a full circle," said head coach Corey Chamblin.

"We'll start the season and see exactly how things shape up."

The outcome of this game does not matter. When it comes down to it, pre-season is about evaluating new players and getting returning veterans up to speed with what's changed in the off-season.

Even if the game isn't that important for many players, they're still pumped to get back on the field.

"It's a chance to hit someone that isn't a Roughrider. That's really important to us," said offensive lineman Chris Best.

"We've just been smacking heads with our buddies. It's time to hit someone else."

Will he or won't he?

It may be the pre-season but Chamblin is in mid-season form when it comes to playing games with the opposition.

Earlier this week Chamblin suggested that Durant would likely play a quarter or so in this game. On Friday, it appears the coach may have changed his mind.

"There's a huge possibility (that Durant might not play)," said Chamblin.

Durant didn't throw at all Thursday afternoon during the team's final practice ahead of the game. Those sessions were book ended by walkthroughs, so it's been a while since Durant has thrown a football.

Chamblin is adamant that this decision has nothing to do with Durant's elbow that he injured last season.

As for the pivot, he'll go with whatever the coaching staff decides to do.

"I have no control over that. I'm just like all the other guys, I'm just another player. The coaches will make that decision," he said.

Tino Time?

This game will be an important one for third-year quarterback Tino Sunseri.

After acting as the team's backup quarterback coming into last season, Sunseri needs to prove that he can in fact be a CFL quarterback. This game could be his chance to prove he can do it.

"It's still a battle. Every single day you're competing to make yourself better," said the former Pittsburgh Panther.

Like Durant, just how much Sunseri plays remains up in the air.

New offence revealed

This game marks the first time we'll see the Riders use the offence Jacques Chapdelaine has installed this season.

It will likely be a pretty plain game plan, but we should get a sense on how they plan to work overall.

"You use a little bit more athletic ability, (it) allows for reads, allows you to get the ball out of your hands," said Sunseri.

Not only is the new offence going to be on the field for the first time, this will be the first real test to see if the players are picking it up - especially the rookies.

"That's what it's all about. I got to prove that I know this play book , that I know what's going on in this offence, that I can compete at this level of play."

Game time is at 8 p.m. on TSN.

For depth charts for both teams click here.

The Green Zone Pre-Game Show is on the air at 5 p.m. followed by the Fan Zone with Scotty and the King.

After the game, the Green Zone Post-Game Show will be taking your calls at 1-877-300-7275.

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