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Johnson looks to 'serve a five course meal' to Riders

MONTREAL — With an injury to starting running back William Stanback, veteran tailback Jeremiah Johnson is set to step in against the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Friday night.

“I feel like I’m going to try and go out there and serve a five course meal,” Johnson told Julian McKenzie of The Canadian Press, as the running back wore a white chef’s hat. “Finger food, entree, dinner, and we’re going to finish it off with a nice dessert.”

Johnson, along with quarterback Antonio Pipkin, will start for the Alouettes at Percival Molson Stadium in their Week 9 tilt. Stanback and starting oivot Vernon Adams Jr. were both injured in last week’s contest against the Ottawa REDBLACKS.

The 32-year-old Johnson spent the last three seasons with the BC Lions – his best season was in 2017 where he accumulated 913 yards and nine touchdowns in 17 games. Over his 63-game career, Johnson has amassed 530 carries, 3,200 yards and 33 touchdowns.

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“It’s time to go. Time to strap it up and go,” he said. “I welcome this stuff. My preparation is the same as if I’m playing, or if I’m down, or if I’m starting.”

“Jeremiah has been playing good football in the last couple of games,” head coach Khari Jones told McKenzie. “He’s a smart guy back there as far as picking up blitzers, I don’t think there’s anyone better. We’ll be find with (Johnson) in there and this is the reason why we have him to be one of the best insurance policies for Will (Stanback).”

To go along with his food references, Johnson told McKenzie that his best dish is baked chicken with special herbs. The recipe is a secret but he did share a few secrets ingredients to cook up a win against the Roughriders.

“We’ve got to convert second downs,” he said. “Keep it in second and short. Keep (Pipkin) on his feet. Keep his jersey clean. We know we have the guys in this locker room, in this offence, to do so.”

With the Riders missing defensive tackles Micah Johnson and Zack Evans and defensive end A.C. Leonard this week, Johnson and the Alouettes ground game could take advantage.

Kickoff between the Riders and Alouettes is Friday night at 7 p.m. ET.

– With files from The Canadian Press