Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

Cody Fajardo will not start for the Roughriders as Saskatchewan tries to clinch first in the West Division, per sources.

The Riders held a closed practice on Wednesday — that’s when Fajardo suffered an oblique strain. The quarterback still fulfilled his media obligations after being named the Riders’ nominee for the Most Outstanding Player award. He said it felt like being stabbed when the back ailment occurred.

It was up to Fajardo whether he started in the regular season finale at Mosaic Stadium against Edmonton. Rookie Isaac Harker is supposed to start and Bryan Bennett could see action.

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.

As Saskatchewan’s starter, Fajardo has led the Riders to an 12-4 record. He’s thrown for 4,302 yards while completing over 71 per cent of his passes with 18 touchdowns against eight interceptions. The dual-threat QB has used his legs for 611 yards and 10 touchdowns on 107 rushing attempts, averaging 5.7 yards per carry.

The Riders are one win away from the West Division regular season title.

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Justin Dunk is the pre-eminent CFL insider and unabashed supporter of Canadian quarterbacks. He is one of the founders of the new 3DownNation.