Zach Collaros is set to take his first live game snaps since Week 1 when Simoni Lawrence delivered a shot to his head and caused a concussion — the latest head injury in his CFL career.
“I appreciate people’s concern, but I trust the doctors and the specialists that we’ve seen. Honestly, hats off to every doctor I’ve worked with throughout this whole process. This year’s been a crazy year,” Collaros said.
“Especially the Argos organization did a really good job of checking all those boxes off, they were very thorough with it and I appreciate them for that. It definitely gave me some ease and especially my wife.”
Collaros will start his first game since taking the field in the season-opener after being placed on the six-game injured list by Saskatchewan following Lawrence’s shoulder to the helmet. He failed concussion protocol and has been on the sidelines ever since. The veteran quarterback missed four games last season due to concussions.
The 31-year-old was on the receiving end of a hard hit from B.C.’s Odell Willis late in the first quarter of Week 20 against the Lions in October last year. Willis was given a roughing the passer penalty on the play and Collaros never returned to action in 2018.
Earlier last season, Collaros was hit by Ottawa Redblacks defensive lineman Avery Ellis under the helmet and caught him under the chin. That drove Collaros from the game as he underwent concussion protocol in Week 2.
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.
“In my head, if I’m cleared to play, and I wanted to play, I don’t think I had that doubt that I was going to be a starter again. But it was more or less are you going to play again kind of thing. We crossed every checked box off,” Collaros said.
“I feel really good, I’ve felt good for a long time, every specialist I’ve seen is like ‘man, you’re fine.'”