Zach Collaros kept injury secret from Riders

Zach Collaros felt the pressure of being the new starting quarterback for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and it hurt him more.

“I broke rules – there was no training staff, none of the coaches. But as a competitor, it’s hard to not want to be out there with the guys. In a new setting, in a new situation as the new guy, I just wanted to be out there with my teammates and probably pushed it a little bit too much and paid for it there by having to miss a couple weeks,” Collaros said after recovering from a concussion and being activated from the six-game injured list on Monday.

“It was really a carryover of something that had happened prior and something that I should’ve talked to the training staff about in the pre-season, something that I sustained in that game and I kept it a secret. I kind of took a couple touches there in Ottawa and things went a little haywire for me and I told Coach Walsh I don’t think I can keep going in this one if it’s not safe, I talked to the training staff and they took me to the sideline for protocol and told me that was the deal.”

Collaros has been recovering since Week 2 when Ottawa defensive lineman Avery Ellis put a hit on the 29-year-old and his helmet caught the pivot under the chin. That drove Collaros from the game as he underwent concussion protocol and did not return, leaving after completing 4-of-10 passes for 106 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

“Our training staff did a great job, really put a lot of faith in those guys along with the doctors. It was a combination of things, not just the head, but some other issues going on, I was able to take care of that. For these last two- two-and-a-half weeks I’ve really felt like myself and back to normal,” Collaros said.

“Just been communicating with Coach Jones and passing the protocol and talking to the trainers and talking with the doctors, first and foremost you have to get the OK from them. I felt ready to play for about two- two-and-a-half weeks. I really appreciate the training staff and the doctors and everybody who was involved, and Coach Jones the way he handled it and all involved to not try to push things because there is a lot of science out there now with the danger of playing with a concussion. I never felt any pressure and that’s always a good thing as a player.”

Collaros sat out three games due to a head injury in 2016 and missed time in 2014 after suffering a concussion.

“I don’t really want to share, it kind of is what it is. I’ve had a few and they’ve been a bit different and this one seemed to linger a little bit more,” Collaros said. “I read a lot of books – I was very bored.”

Collaros was acquired in an off-season trade from Hamilton and won the starting job out of training camp then completed 18-of-25 passes for 203 yards and one touchdown in Saskatchewan’s 27-19 Week 1 victory against Toronto. He feels ready to resume the No. 1 QB job.

“I’m always preparing to start, even if I’m not dressing I’m preparing to start,” Collaros said.

“I just know that I feel good, I feel ready to play and I’m going to go out there and play hard.”

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