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REGINA — The Saskatchewan Roughriders have confirmed that quarterback Zach Collaros will not dress for Western Semi-Final against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Collaros is among the scratches for Sunday’s game, which also include receiver Caleb Holley from the Riders and, for the Bombers, linebacker Jovan Santos-Knox and receiver Ryan Lankford.
Collaros was listed as the club’s starter on their depth chart when it was released Saturday afternoon but the club did not confirm whether he would indeed be ready to go come game time. TSN’s Dave Naylor reported on Saturday night that Collaros would not dress.
Brandon Bridge is in line to start and would become the first Canadian quarterback since Gerry Dattilio in 1984 to start a playoff game.
David Watford and Drew Tate are also in the lineup for the Green and White.
Collaros was hurt in the Riders’ season finale against BC after absorbing a hit from defensive end Odell Willis.
Although not as experienced as Collaros, Bridge does have some meaningful playoff reps under his belt. Last year, Bridge replaced Kevin Glenn in the Eastern Final vs. Toronto where he went 11 of 21 for 141 yards and one touchdown in relief.
Bridge has seen has been good on 82 of 131 passes for 804 yards and one touchdown this season in spot duty with the Riders.
With reports of Collaros not dressing, CFL.ca’s Davis Sanchez weighed in on how the Riders could net out now that they would be looking to Bridge at the controls. Sanchez spoke specifically to the Riders’ previous bouts where they kept the Canadian quarterback on a short leash.
“If the Riders want to have any chance to win, history cannot repeat itself,” Sanchez said Saturday night. “They have to let the handcuffs off and allow Brandon to be creative without the fear of being pulled. Play to his strengths and let him play free”
The Riders and Bombers square off at 4:30pm ET Sunday with a ticket to Calgary and the Western Final on the line.
More to come …