The Riders welcomed quarterback Zach Collaros back to Regina during their bye week.
Collaros was at home in Hamilton continuing to recover from a concussion sustained in the green and white’s Week 1 loss to the Ticats.
“He seems pretty good. We gotta be careful, we all know that once the symptoms are gone you still need a couple weeks on top of that. So we’re still a ways away with him, but it’s good to see him back in the building,” Riders head coach Craig Dickenson said.
“He’s in meetings and doing everything that everybody else does just not practising.”
Collaros was placed on the six-game injured list following a shoulder to the head from Ticats linebacker Simoni Lawrence. The 30-year-old was down on the field for a couple minutes and walked off under his own power. He failed concussion protocol and has been sidelined ever since.
“He got concussed, so that’s what we’re looking at. When you get a concussion it gets into the neck quite a bit and a lot of people feel like that’s what holds people back is the neck stiffness and pain. Any time you get hit up high you’re looking at head and neck just to try to work things out,” Dickenson said.
“I don’t necessarily know if the symptoms are there any longer, I haven’t spoken too much about that, but he feels better. We haven’t put him through a lot of strenuous stuff because we just got him back. That’ll be the key is you start working him out, making him sweat a little bit and then you see is he starting to get some headaches.”
The veteran quarterback missed four games last season due to concussions. Collaros sat out three games due to a head injury in 2016 and missed time in 2014 after suffering a concussion while with Hamilton. The Ticats traded Collaros to Saskatchewan in January 2018 and the Riders re-signed him to an incentive-laden deal for the 2019 season.
“I know he went and saw a couple of doctors, guys that he’s worked with in the past, got some opinions. And thankfully I think they all feel the same way that we do, it’s important to take it slow and just on a see-as-you-go basis,” Dickenson said.
Saskatchewan’s bench boss confirmed Collaros will be on the six-game injured list for the full amount of time. And when the decision is made with regards to a return there will be many factors and considerations that go into it.
“Obviously, first and foremost player safety, how he’s doing. He’s going to have a big say in what goes on as well. And then ultimately we want to do what’s best for the team. It will be a well thought out, thoroughly well-researched decision where we feel it’s best for all parties,” Dickenson said.
“We’re going to make it based on what’s best for Zach, primarily, and then secondarily, what’s best for the team, the salary cap thing is not probably going to play into it.”
Cody Fajardo has stepped in as the starter for Collaros and had two strong games and an outing to forget against Calgary. But Fajardo’s play won’t factor into the final call on Collaros.
“We want to do what’s best for Zach, so . even if we were terrible at quarterback, which we’re not, we feel good about our quarterback,” Dickenson said, “we wouldn’t make a decision to put him out there if we didn’t feel he was healthy and it was going to be a decision that would benefit him in the long run.”