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REGINA — The Saskatchewan Roughriders have placed quarterback Zach Collaros on the 6-game injured list, the team announced Sunday.
Collaros exited on the first offensive series of the team’s season opener, a 23-17 loss to Hamilton on June 13, after sustaining an injury to the head/neck area. Ticats linebacker Simoni Lawrence was assessed a 25-yard penalty after the hit and has since received a two-game suspension.
“Zach was put on the six-game injured list, so he won’t be with us for a while,” said Riders head coach Craig Dickenson. “It’s unfortunate, I feel for him, but we’re moving on with the guys we’ve got.
“We certainly want what’s best for him,” he added. “That’s one of the reasons we put him on the six game. We feel like we don’t want to make an emotional decision, we want to let it play out and then do what’s best for Zach.”
The Riders have since signed quarterback Bryan Bennett, though one of Isaac Harker or Cody Fajardo will get the start in Week 2. Dickenson said a decision will be made before Thursday night, when the team travels to the nation’s capital to take on the REDBLACKS.
“We’re not sure just yet,” said Dickenson. “We’re going to let Cody and Isaac split reps this week and we’ll decide who’s going to be the starter.”
Fajardo, 27, was signed this off-season after stints in BC and Toronto. He won the primary backup job in training camp, and was the first off the bench on Thursday, throwing for 66 yards on 9-of-17 passing and adding 34 yards on the ground.
But it was Harker, a 23-year-old rookie straight out of the Colorado School of Mines, who finished the game, completing eight of 14 attempts for 128 yards and two interceptions.
“We feel good about both of those guys,”said Dickenson. “They’re good workers, they’ve got a lot of street cred in the locker-room, the guys like them and they bring different skill-sets to the table.
“I think they’re both going to be fine. Everyone has their first game, right? It’s not going to be a big deal once everyone gets going.”
The Riders say Collaros will be re-assessed after a few weeks. The 30-year-old was escorted to the locker-room after being injured, but returned to the sideline in street clothes.
“He’s fine, we’ve talked to him,” said Dickenson. “We’re just going to err on the side of caution. We’re going to give him six weeks. Whether we go the six weeks or not I can’t say. It was just the decision we made afterwards talking with him and talking with the doctors.
“He understands,” he added. “He wants to take the emotions out of it also, because he’s frustrated, he certainly was disappointed he couldn’t finish the game.”