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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

COLLAROS CLEARED FOR WESTERN SEMIFINAL

Photo: Riderville.com
REGINA - Quarterback Zach Collaros led the first team offense on Day 1 of the Saskatchewan Roughriders practice week on Wednesday as the club prepares to host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Sunday's CFL Western Semifinal (3:30 pm Sask Time, TSN, 620 CKRM).

Collaros left the team's last game - a 35-16 home win over BC on October 27 - after the first quarter after absorbing a high hit from B.C.'s Odell Willis.

The 30-year old pivot says he believes the CFL is trying to remove hits like the one that initially left him questionable for the West Division semifinal.

Willis was fined the maximum amount by the CFL for his hit on Collaros. There was no flag thrown on the play, and an unnecessary roughness penalty was called only after the Riders challenged.

"I don't really think that (type of hit) it's going to disappear if it's not handled in any matter where there's a repercussion, right? It is what it is,'' Collaros said.

Saskatchewan head coach Chris Jones said Collaros underwent and passed concussion protocol. He stopped short from naming Collaros the starting quarterback against the Blue Bombers and said the team would take it "day-by-day.''

"It's pretty much in the trainers' hands to make sure we're not going to ever put a guy out there and put him at risk,'' Jones said. "If he passes all that stuff and he's able to show us that he's able to compete and compete at a high level then he'll play.''

Jones said his team has more to worry about than the hit.

"Odell was playing as hard as Odell could play. He used to play for me,'' he said. "It's not like he went out there trying to injured anybody, I don't think.''

The Roughriders went on to beat B.C. 35-16 with Canadian Brandon Bridge taking the remaining snaps behind centre.

Bridge will start at quarterback for Saskatchewan if Collaros isn't able to play. Jones said backup David Watford and new signing Drew Tate would also be available. Tate, a nine-year CFL veteran, was signed out of retirement last weekend as a precaution.

"Brandon has got to be ready and expect the worst, that's what he needs to do,'' Jones said.

Saskatchewan was without Collaros for four games earlier this season after he suffered a concussion in Week 2. The team went 2-2 without him.

Collaros has thrown for 2,999 yards, nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 14 games this year. Bridge, a Toronto native, appeared in eight games for the Riders and threw for 804 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.

The Riders enter the West semifinal with a 2-1 record this season against Winnipeg, although the Bombers have won 5 of 6. Saskatchewan and the Blue Bombers finished second and third, respectively, in the West Division.

The Riders last played a playoff game in 2013 when they hosted and won the Grey Cup.

(Canadian Press/Ryan McKenna)

3 comments:

3RD and 1 said...

Reading all the sites in SK for Rider fans and in Manitoba for Bomber fans.
The Winnipeg fans are a confident bunch and have absolutely no doubt they are going to win. In fact a majority feel the Bombers Defence will stomp Collaros and the Offence. While the Winnipeg Offence cranks out 30 plus points.
They truly feel it will be a Rider beat down.
I thought Bomber fans were football educated. I guess I was 110% wrong.
Not that I think it’s going to happen. It sure would be nice if the Riders gave Bomber fans the beat down they are looking for. Just in reverse.

John Knight said...

If Collaros can't go The only way Bridge can succeed is if the brakes are taken off and he is allowed to play the way he can.
Also if Tate is put on the roster, who comes off? Unlikely we will have 4 QB's on the roster

Scott Thompson said...

From what I gather, the only way Tate is in the royster is if Collaros isn’t ready.