NEWS
10/06/2011 06:33 EDT | Updated 12/06/2011 05:12 EST

Roughriders facing prospect of playing Eskimos without quarterback Darian Durant

REGINA - Quarterback Darian Durant could be missing from the lineup when the Saskatchewan Roughriders resume their playoff quest Monday against the Edmonton Eskimos.

Durant injured his left foot early in the third quarter of Saturday's 40-3 loss to the Calgary Stampeders. He did not practise Thursday and remains day-to-day.

"We'll just monitor him and see how he is," said Riders head coach Ken Miller, who added Durant was feeling some discomfort and had swelling in his foot.

It's possible Durant could play in Edmonton even if he doesn't practise at all.

"I think we could do that," Miller said. "He knows the system better than anyone does."

If Durant cannot play, he would be replaced by Ryan Dinwiddie, with Cole Bergquist as the backup.

"If he's healthy I'm sure he's going to want to play," Dinwiddie said. "My job right now is to prepare myself to start."

Durant has completed 243-of-390 passes for 3,101 yards and 18 touchdowns, with 13 interceptions.

Dinwiddie is 23 of 39 for 346 yards and one touchdown, while Bergquist has not played.

Even with Durant, the offence has struggled in the last two games. After winning three in a row, the Riders lost 42-5 to the B.C. Lions and 40-3 to the Stamps.

One reason Dinwiddie pointed to was the turnover-prone offence.

Another is Saskatchewan's defence, which has allowed 82 points in the last two games, but defensive co-ordinator Richie Hall said this is not because of an increased workload.

"We leave ourselves on the field too long," Hall said. "The offence has nothing to do with it when we step on the field."

The bottom line, Hall said, is that the players are simply not executing.

"It's very disappointing. It's discouraging, but there's still hope," he said.

The Roughriders are 4-9 and in last place in the West Division with five games remaining.

Miller is not blaming the team's record on lack of motivation or lack of effort.

"You talk about 'want to'" he said. "The men in the team 'want to.'

"We're just not in sync right now, for whatever reason."

Miller suggested the Riders might be starting to feel the pressure from the fans and media in Saskatchewan.

"I think they feel the pressure of the environment, of needing to win," he said.

The team's focus, Miller added, has not changed.

"This," he said, "is the most important game we play this week."

And they might have to play it without Durant.