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Roughriders QB Shea Patterson chose football over baseball



Roughriders QB Shea Patterson chose football over baseball

Patterson, who is set to make his second career CFL start this week, was drafted by the MLB’s Texas Rangers in 2018

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As the new starting quarterback of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Shea Patterson has a lot on his plate.

However not too long ago, Patterson could have had a career at the plate.

Last week, the 27-year-old — who was drafted by the Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers in 2018 — started his first CFL game and picked up his first CFL win as the Roughriders beat the visiting Toronto Argonauts 30-23.

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Despite having just one completion in the first quarter, Patterson ended the day having completed 15 of 23 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown. He also added 18 rushing yards on four carries and a touchdown along the ground, while watching his defence force five turnovers.

“Just glad we got the win, that’s the most important thing regardless of how I played,” Patterson said after practice this week at Mosaic Stadium. “Didn’t start off the way I wanted to necessarily but finished stronger and defence made a lot of plays to keep us in the game and keep the momentum going.”

This week, the 6-foot-2, 202-pounder — who signed with the Riders during free agency in 2023 — will continue to fill in for the injured Trevor Harris and will make his second career start as Saskatchewan (4-0) visits the B.C. Lions (4-1) on Saturday (5 p.m., TSN) Week 6 of the CFL season.

And while it’s all football, all the time for Patterson, there was a time in his life when he had to consider chasing a professional baseball career over a football career.

Before stops with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs (2020), the CFL’s B.C. Lions and Montreal Alouettes (2021) and the USFL’s Michigan Panthers and New Orleans Breakers (2022), Patterson was a college quarterback and an MLB prospect.

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After playing high school football in Texas and Louisiana growing up, Patterson attended then the University of Mississippi in 2016 and made his NCAA debut in his first season.

He suited up for Ole Miss again in 2017 and could have returned in 2018 however the program was banned from postseason games due to NCAA violations.

Patterson elected to transfer to the University of Michigan that off-season, which meant he might have had to sit out a year for a redshirt season due to transfer protocols at the time.

While that was going on, the Texas Rangers selected Patterson in the 39th round, 1,169th overall in the 2018 MLB Draft.

With all of that on his mind, Patterson had a decision to make.

“When I transferred, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be eligible or not,” said Patterson, who was approved by the NCAA to skip the potential redshirt season. “I went all throughout spring ball and really all throughout summer without really knowing if I was going to be eligible going into my junior year.

“So that was kind of the only time where I was like ‘maybe’ but not really, my passion is in football and that’s what I love to do and just didn’t have the love for baseball.”

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While Patterson — who played third base — chased football over baseball, he still attended spring training camps with the Rangers organization over the last several years until his original six-year contract expired this year.

“I’ve got a great relationship with those guys,” said Patterson. “Some of those guys are like family to me as well so it was always good to get out there and see those guys during spring training and get to see how those guys work on a daily basis as well.

“A clubhouse is definitely a lot different than the (football) locker room but yeah, it was a cool experience to have had.”

Injury report

After being limited on Tuesday, defensive back Rolan Milligan Jr. (shoulder), linebacker Adam Auclair (shoulder), defensive end Bryan Cox Jr. (back) and running back Thomas Bertrand-Hudon (head) were full participants on Wednesday.

Despite being limited on Tuesday and not practising at all Wednesday, Malik Carney (knee) is still expected to play, according to head coach Corey Mace.

Defensive end Nicholas Dheilly (shoulder) is questionable to play this week after missing both workouts while fullback Bruno LaBelle (leg) logged a full practice on Tuesday but sat out Wednesday. His status is unknown.

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