Cody Fajardo knows Zach Collaros and his abilities as a quarterback well.
If a playoff match up happened at Mosaic Stadium, Fajardo is aware of the challenges Collaros presents.
“Honestly, if you have Zach come in here I would be a little nervous because he is a competitor and he’s a guy who knows how to win games, he’s played at the highest level, he’s been an MOP candidate, the guy has tremendous talent — if he stays healthy, man he’s dangerous,” Fajardo said.
“It would be quite the story. Zach’s a great guy and he’s a great competitor.”
Fajardo and Collaros started the season as teammates in Regina. Three plays into the season-opener, the veteran QB was knocked out of the game and sidelined for 19 weeks with a concussion. He was later dealt to Toronto and moved to the Manitoba capital at the trade deadline.
With Collaros on the six-game injured list, Fajardo took the starting role in Saskatchewan and produced immediately. He’s led the Riders to an 12-4 record passing for 4,302 yards while completing over 71 per cent of his passes with 18 touchdowns against eight interceptions plus 610 yards and 10 touchdowns on 106 rushing attempts, averaging 5.8 yards per carry.
Collaros started in Week 20 for Winnipeg and looked sharp. He passed for 221 yards, two touchdowns and one interceptions with a 78.6 completion rate in the Bombers’ win over Calgary. The 31-year-old did the Riders a major favour by putting the West Division title back in the control of the green and white.
“It was pretty ironic to have Zach come in clutch for us as a team to go out there and beat Calgary. I know he’s battled a lot. He just wanted an opportunity to get on the field from what we’ve talked and conversed about,” Fajardo said.
“I was so excited to see him get out there, not only just to get out there but to stay healthy and get a victory, which is a huge victory for them and it was a big victory for us as well.”