REGINA — Saskatchewan Roughriders coach Ken Miller knows receiver Robb Bagg and kicker Luca Congi will miss the rest of the CFL season.
But he’s also bracing for the possibility of kicking off the 2011 campaign without the two stars.
Bagg and Congi suffered season-ending knee injuries in the Riders’ 34-26 home loss to the Calgary Stampeders on Sunday. Miller says the two players will undergo surgery and the rehab process for both could extend into next season.
“Certainly when you look at the surgery that they’re facing, rehab could take them into the season next year,” Miller said. “They were severe injuries.”
Congi’s injury left the Riders with just one kicker, American Eddie Johnson.
But Saskatchewan also added Canadian kicker Warren Kean to the practice roster.
The five-foot-11, 195-pound Kean, from Dundas, Ont., was selected second overall by Edmonton in the 2007 Canadian college draft.
He also spent time with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2008 and Calgary Stampeders earlier this year.The Riders (9-6) are in Edmonton on Saturday to face the Eskimos (5-10).
Saskatchewan has already cemented second in the West Division and is still in contention for top spot, trailing first-place Calgary (11-4) by four points with both teams having three regular-season games remaining. But the contest is especially meaningful for Edmonton, which is tied with B.C. for the third and final conference playoff spot.
Johnson has handled punting and kickoff chores this season for the Riders. He has compiled a solid 44.6-yard punting average (35.5-yard net) and is second in kickoffs with a 66.6-yard average.
Congi, a native of Waterloo, Ont., is fifth in CFL scoring with 121 points, having hit on 26-of-34 field goals this season.
But Saskatchewan’s injury woes don’t stop there as American slotback Weston Dressler is nursing a groin injury.
Miller is hopeful he’ll be able to play.
Dressler is the team’s second-leading receiver with 75 catches for 1,110 yards and six TDs. Miller is hopeful he’ll be able to play.
The loss of Bagg, a native of Kingston, Ont., is a big one for the Riders. The former Queen’s star had 44 catches for 688 yards and three touchdowns.
But his absence should mean more playing time for Regina native Chris Getzlaf . The older brother of NHL star Ryan Getzlaf has 46 catches for 836 yards (fine 18.2-yard average) with four TDs.
“I’ll be involved in the offence a little bit more, but I expect Darian (Riders quarterback Darian Durant) to go through his reads and pick apart defences like he can,” Getzlaf said. “Like I said Sunday after the game, I would trade my catches for a win and that’s the same approach I take for these final three games.”