The visiting Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats both desperately need to win when they meet Friday night in a race to make the playoffs.
"Every week from now on is a must-win," Tiger-Cats defensive end Mason Bennett said. "They're probably of the same mindset as well."
The Roughriders (6-9) lost their fourth straight Sept. 30, 31-13 to the host Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The Tiger-Cats (4-10) lost 23-16 to the host Montreal Alouettes Sept. 23 before having a bye week. They have dropped four of their past five.
Roughriders coach Craig Dickenson made sure that his players understood the situation.
"I showed them the standings (Monday) morning," Dickenson said. "I thought that would do what it needed to, and I think it did. I showed them the East and I showed them the West. I told them, 'We have three games left and we're at six (victories),' so where we end up depends a lot on this weekend."
Saskatchewan cannot finish higher than fourth in the West Division. The top three finishers advance to the playoffs.
The CFL, however, has a crossover provision that enables the fourth-place team in one division to bump a less-successful third seed from the other division.
A victory on Friday would give Saskatchewan a six-point advantage. Hamilton then would need to win its final three regular-season games while having the Roughriders lose their final two.
A Hamilton victory would close the gap to two points.
"It's going to be a hard-fought battle," Roughriders linebacker Larry Dean said. "We both know what's at stake and we just have to grind down to business."
Hamilton linebacker Simoni Lawrence (knee) is out Friday. Wide receiver Steve Dunbar (personal) is not expected to play. His replacement would be Terry Godwin, who is "quick and fast and a natural catcher," according to Tiger-Cats coach Orlondo Steinauer.
Saskatchewan will be without running backs Jamal Morrow (hand) and Kienan Lafrance (knee), wide receivers Samuel Emilus (ankle) and Jake Harty (foot), linebackers Justin Herdman-Reed (shoulder) and Gary Johnson (foot) and defensive lineman Anthony Lanier (head).
--Field Level Media