The emergence of Cody Fajardo already has people in the prairie province wondering about the starting quarterback job should Zach Collaros return to full health.
Collaros was injured on the Riders’ third snap of the season when Ticats linebacker Simoni Lawrence delivered a shot to his head. That put Collaros in the six-game injured list and led to Fajardo stepping in as the starter.
Since a shaky showing in the Steel City, Fajardo has been on point. During two games as the No. 1 QB: 78 per cent completion rate, 790 passing yards, four touchdowns, zero interceptions, 29 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Saskatchewan scored 41 and 32 points in Week 2 and 3 respectively as Fajardo guided the Riders to a 1-1 record.
“My job when I signed here was being the backup and my role as a player right now is to help this team win as much as I can while I get the opportunity,” Fajardo said.
General manager Jeremy O’Day believed in Fajardo as an insurance policy should he be needed. The 27-year-old has played beyond expectations in Collaros’ absence as the veteran starter recovers.
“Zach’s our guy and he showed he can play at the highest level. I’ll be here to help him all the way through it. He’s been a great guy to me. I know it’s always heard when you get pulled out because of an injury. I’m just hoping for his good health,” Fajardo said.
“And the for me doing whatever I can to help this team win, whether that’s being the short yardage guy, being the backup and just telling Zach what I see on the sideline and tell the coaches what I see on the sideline.”
Collaros is scheduled to be back in Regina on July 13, according to head coach Craig Dickenson. From there O’Day, Dickenson and the medical staff will meet to determine a plan for Collaros. Due to his health, there are questions about which quarterback would be the starter should Collaros be able to get back on the field because Fajardo has played very well.
“I’m not going to go into that too much. He’s our starter now and we feel comfortable with him leading the offence,” Dickenson said.
“It’s tough because obviously for yourself you want to play well. And for a guy that you like so much like Zach obviously that’s always the worst when you have a quarterback controversy and you go back and forth, back and forth,” Fajardo said.
“We’ll cross that path when it gets here.”