Fajardo listed as Riders’ starter despite pulled back muscle

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

It looks like Cody Fajardo will be on the field when his team needs him most.

A pulled back muscle had prevented the Riders’ franchise QB from practicing this week and put his status for Saturday’s game in question. Now it appears he will remain at the controls with a chance to clinch the top seed in the West Division against Edmonton.

Fajardo completed 25-of-35 passes for 429 yards — his second 400-plus yard performance of the season — and two touchdowns versus the Eskimos in Week 20 as he improved the win-loss record as a starting QB to 12-4. He signed a lucrative two-year contract extension prior to the Riders Week 20 game in the Alberta capital worth over $400,000 per season.

Saskatchewan held a closed practice on Wednesday that’s when Fajardo suffered the ailment, but he still fulfilled his media obligations after being named the Riders’ nominee for the Most Outstanding Player award.

While Fajardo could still be a gameday scratch if his back seizes up again, the Riders won’t jeopardize their chance at a home West Final for anything less than a debilitating injury. Backups Isaac Harker and Bryan Bennett are now unlikely to see snaps to prepare for an emergency situation in the playoffs.