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Rob Bagg back in Saskatchewan, ready to contribute with Riders


REGINA — Rob Bagg is ready to contribute in his return to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Whether he gets any game action against the Calgary Stampeders on Sunday remains to be seen though.

The CFL club re-signed the 33-year-old veteran slotback Wednesday. Bagg, of Kingston, Ont., spent 10 seasons with the Riders before being released prior to the start of the 2018 campaign.

"I'm excited to be here," Bagg said. "Whether I'm in jersey or not, I'm going to find a role within the team to try and make sure I'm productive and help the guys that are playing.

"I just can't wait to see the stadium filled again and just happy to be back."

Bagg, who made the Riders as a undrafted free agent in 2008, registered 364 catches in 122 regular-season games for 4,705 yards and 24 TDs. He was a member of Saskatchewan's Grey Cup-winning team in 2013.

It only took Bagg 12 hours from the moment he got the call from head coach Chris Jones to be on an airplane to Saskatchewan.

It was a long nine weeks off for Bagg after nine successful years in the CFL. He went back to Ontario where he trained every morning and then made the best of an unexpected situation.

"I've got three kids — twins that are six and a little four-year-old boy, too — and we've never had a summer back home," Bagg said. "They come out here for every summer ... We had a great summer with them getting to do kids things, like play soccer, and that kind of thing. There was a silver lining there and I definitely enjoyed my time with my family."

The Riders started their bye week by releasing star receiver (and sometimes defensive back) Duron Carter, looking at the current skill set of NFL receiver Terrell Owens, and then brought back veteran receiver Rob Bagg who had been released from the team in June.

The big change from last time the Stamps were in Saskatchewan is the quarterback: Zach Collaros is in and ready to go.

Collaros told the media on Friday that the bye week was spent focusing on the little things: knowing assignments, no missed assignments, finishing drives and scoring touchdowns.

"That's every team's, every offence's, goal: once you get into the red zone or inside the 40 yard line, you want to put seven points up rather than three," he said. "And it's something that's been a point of emphasis and something we can get better at."

Collaros also touched on the return of Bagg and his large presence in the locker room.

"When Rob came in, he got a standing ovation the other day from his teammates. That's not something you see very often. I think that speaks volumes," he said.

Canadian receiver Devon Bailey is also happy to see Bagg back on the team as one of his mentors.

"It's great to have Robbie here. He's been a great friend, a better teammate," Bailey said. "He brings that positive vibe and he came here with a smile on his face too, didn't lose his step. So it was really good to see."

Bagg is listed on the depth chart for Saturday's game and said the ankle injury that Jones said caused his release is healed up, putting him a nice position at this point in the season.

"Not many guys get to come in around Week 9 and feel perfectly healthy," he said. 

Jones cancelled the team's walk through on Friday. Air quality advisories have blanketed Saskatchewan because of wildfires in British Columbia. Jones said the cancellation was not because of smoke, but to get the team off their feet and out of the heat after a long, gruelling week in the weight room and meetings.

___

CALGARY (7-0) AT SASKATCHEWAN (3-4)

Saturday, Mosaic Stadium

STAMPS LEAD BIG — Calgary has led in every game this season by 14 or more points (seven games in a row). Only three teams in CFL history have done that before and none of those teams have ever made it to eight games.

QUARTERBACK MERRY-GO-ROUND — Zach Collaros will be the seventh different starting Saskatchewan quarterback to face Calgary since 2013. The Stampeders have had just three in the same time.

KICKING UP A STORM — Saskatchewan's Brett Lauther has been the CFL's more accurate field goal kicker other than Ottawa's Lewis Ward since Week 2. Lauther has made 15 of 16 attempts (93.8 per cent) over the last six games. And his season average distance for made field goals is 38.6 yards, making him No. 1 in the CFL.

Samantha Maciag, The Canadian Press

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