Riders’ Craig Dickenson on Simoni Lawrence hit: ‘violent and against the rules’

Riders head coach Craig Dickenson agrees with the league’s decision to suspended Ticats linebacker Simoni Lawrence two games for his hit to the head on quarterback Zach Collaros.

“The reality is in games it’s a lot of action in a violent setting and it’s very difficult to judge intent, so I’m not going to judge his intent. I felt like the hit was violent and against the rules and the league decided to suspend him two games and I support what the league decides on,” Dickenson said.

“It seems like a fair result of what happened.”

Lawrence knocked Collaros from the game on Saskatchewan’s third offensive snap. The 30-year-old pivot underwent concussion protocol and did not pass. That meant he watched the rest of the Week 1 loss from the sideline. Even though Collaros was unable to return, Dickenson doesn’t believe Lawrence should have been ejected and feels the increased 25-yard penalty high hits is enough of a penalty.

“That’s a big chunk of yardage. I’m not a proponent of the targeting rule down in the states where they try to identify his intention, I just don’t believe in that. 25 yards is plenty, I’m not necessarily in favour of kicking a guy out for one hit,” Dickenson said.

Collaros was placed on the six-game injured list Monday. The veteran quarterback missed four games last season due to taking shots to the helmet. Collaros sat out three games due to a head injury in 2016 and missed time in 2014 after suffering a concussion while with Hamilton.

“I feel really for Zach. He worked so hard in the off-season to get right and to get ready physically and he was ready. And he just took a big shot – sliding – and I’ve seen a lot of that happen,” Dickenson said.

“Sliding is tricky because you do expose your head even though you’re giving yourself up, you do expose your head when you’re sliding feet first especially. Just a really unfortunate situation, I think all parties involved wish it hadn’t happened.”

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