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Wes Cates Is Back and Ready For Action

TORONTO - NOVEMBER 25:  Wes Cates #20 of the Saskatchewan Rough Riders tries to split the defense of Jerome Haywood #99 and Ike Charlton #10 of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers during the fourth quarter in the 95th Grey Cup on November 25, 2007 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  The Rough Riders won 23-19.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Jonathan HamelinCorrespondent IJuly 18, 2009

Defenses beware, Wes Cates is back!

Cates, the starting running back for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, had missed the first two games of the seasons due to a shoulder injury. There was much skepticism to when Cates would return to the lineup, but it appears he is ready to go.

“I’m ready.” Cates said to Mitchell Blair of Riderville.com. “If they need me on the field for every play, I’m ready and I’ll be able to handle it. The team’s been doing great in my absence, now I get to join in on the fun and start contributing.

The return of Wes Cates is very timely, considering the Riders are welcoming the powerhouse Montreal Alouettes into town. Hugh Charles, the replacement for Wes Cates in the first two weeks, performed admirably in Cates' absence.

However, Wes Cates just brings so much to the table.

Ever since he was traded over from the Calgary Stampeders, Wes Cates has excelled as a starter. Finally getting a chance to become a full time starter, Cates rushed for 866 yards in his first season with the Roughriders. The next season he rushed for 1,229 yards and had 12 touchdowns while battling injuries.

The stats don't quite paint a clear enough picture. They don't say just how valuable Wes Cates has been to the Riders.

Cates played injured during the Riders 2007 Grey Cup Grey Cup Run and made some timely plays. He was the Riders best player in their 6-0 start to the 2008 season.

Wes Cates has great vision on the field. He is patient as he picks his way through opposing defenses with a blend of speed and power. Cates also has solid hands and has been a reliable receiver out of the backfield.

In fact, Wes Cates could very well have a rushing title under his belt if he had not suffered through injuries. The whole Rider nation is undoubetly hoping Wes Cates' return is a permanent one.

The return of "The Green Machine" may just be the spark the Riders need against the Montreal Alouettes and the rest of the league.

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