If Zach Collaros had his way, he would have finished Saturday’s Banjo Bowl on the field instead of the sidelines.
The Roughriders quarterback was blindsided by a hit and his head hit the turf with significant force during the game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Some assumed the worst — that Collaros had another concussion. It would’ve been his second of the season, the fourth of his CFL career. Fortunately, he was fine.
“We went through the protocol after the hit, I passed the protocol,” Collaros told reporters after fully taking part in the Roughriders first practice of the week.
“I woke up the day after the game with no headaches, no symptoms. I woke up yesterday with no headaches, no symptoms and today as well.”
After passing the protocol on the sidelines at the game, the quarterback lobbied to return to play.
That wasn’t something the trainers would consider, however, as they didn’t even raise the possibility of putting Collaros back in the game with head coach Chris Jones.
“I didn’t even have a discussion with them,” Jones said Tuesday.
“If they thought he could play, they’d come tell me. So we’re not going to put anybody out there and put them in harm’s way. We went strictly by the book.”
The play that knocked Collaros out happened early in the fourth period when the Bomber’s Jeff Hecht came around the quarterback’s right side and sacked the 30-year-old pivot, forcing him to fumble.
Collaros put the blame squarely on his own shoulders. His hot route – the short passing route quarterbacks use to avoid being sacked – was on his left, and the defensive end was there in coverage.
“Had I thrown it, it would have been an interception and I held on to the ball for too long so that was on me, the fumble. The player put a good hit on me and turned the ball over,” Collaros said.
Barring a setback, Jones said Collaros will play in Saturday’s action against the Ottawa Redblacks.
The last time the two teams squared off, Collaros left the game with concussion symptoms. Later on, the quarterback admitted the symptoms had been present since the preseason, but he hadn’t told the training staff.
Collaors said he learned from that misstep and understands protocols are in place for player health.
- Defensive back Ed Gainey also went down in Saturday’s matchup, but was back out at practice no worse for wear on Tuesday.
- Offensive lineman Dariusz Bladek was absent from practice due to a family matter. Josiah St. John has been practicing in his place at right guard.