TORONTO — Toronto Argonauts head coach Scott Milanovich confirmed on Sunday that 24-year-old Zach Collaros will start in place of injured quarterback Ricky Ray when they face the BC Lions on Tuesday night.
The annoucement ends nine of days of speculation regarding whether or not Ray would be able to play after suffering a lower-body injury in a winning effort over the Blue Bombers in Week 4.
“I’ve been taking the reps all week so I was kind of expecting it”, Collaros explained Sunday. “I’m just ready to go and I’m excited – it is my first start in a while.”
Collaros, who spent most of last season on the injured list and sat no. 4 on the depth chart behind Ray, Jarious Jackson and Trevor Harris, said that getting the chance to start is entirely different than coming on in releif which he has done already this year.
“It’s very special. It is a lot different than coming in in the fourth quarter…it is a completely different thought process and preparation before the game so I’m just anxious and ready to go.
Ray will get time to heal with the Argonauts entering a bye after Tuesday. In the meantime, he has been putting in time with Collaros as he attempts to get his backup prepared.
“Pre-snap (reads), where guys are aligned and how I can use that to my advantage to help me see what the coverage is going to be”, Collaros said in regards to what he is learning from Ray.
Both Collaros and fellow backup Trevor Harris saw action in relief, with Collaros completing just one pass for five yards, while Harris threw for 66 yards, connecting on three of his five attempts.
In a Week 3 loss to the Roughriders, Collaros was solid in late-game action, throwing for 107 yards on six completions, while running for 19 yards and a touchdown as well.
Tuesday’s tilt will mark the first start in Collaros’ two-year career.