Veteran CFL QB Matt Nichols: ‘people keep making up their own timelines for my recovery’

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

Veteran CFL quarterback Matt Nichols knows exactly how he’s progressing inn his rehab from shoulder surgery.

The veteran pivot left Winnipeg’s Week 10 win against B.C. favouring his right arm and shoulder. Nichols was hurt when he was strip-sacked by Shawn Lemon in the fourth quarter of the Bombers’ 32-16 victory.

He went for an MRI and was placed on the six-game injured list. Winnipeg head coach Mike O’Shea originally said he expected Nichols to be ready for a return after four-to-six weeks. But after further examination, it was determined Nichols needed a procedure done.

“Matt Nichols sustained a significant shoulder injury in Week 10 from which he has been diligently rehabbing to try and avoid season-ending surgery and return to the playing field,” O’Shea said in a statement on September 26, 2019.

“After rehabbing conservatively for a period of six weeks, it was determined by the medical team that surgery would be required and a return to the field this season would not be possible. Nichols underwent successful surgery this afternoon.”

The 32-year-old had an impressive 15-5 touchdown to interception ratio, but didn’t eclipsed the 300-yard mark in 2019. Nichols was playing consistent football, completing more than 71 per cent of his passes when he was on the field. Chris Streveler was the starter until the final game of the regular season when Zach Collaros took over and led the Bombers to their first Grey Cup championship in 29 years.

All three Winnipeg quarterbacks — Collaros, Nichols and Streveler — are scheduled to hit the free agent market on February 11. With Streveler exploring NFL options and likely to sign a contract south of the border, the Bombers’ choices for a No. 1 option at QB were narrowed to two. Winnipeg has decided to focus their efforts on inking Collaros to a new contract, according to 3DownNation insider Justin Dunk.

Nichols had a career-best season in 2016 passing for 3,666 yards with 18 touchdowns against nine interceptions. One year later, Nichols reset those totals, throwing for 4,472 yards and 28 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. However, during 2018, Nichols’ numbers were down with 3,146 yards and 18 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. He flourished under former Bombers’ offensive coordinator Paul LaPolice who was named head coach of the Ottawa Redblacks in December.

Through 10 CFL seasons, Nichols has passed for 18,363 yards, 108 touchdowns versus 60 interceptions while completing 66 percent of his attempts. He’s added 617 yards on 140 carries with 13 touchdowns on the ground.

As Nichols stated, the 32-year-old quarterback plans to be 100 percent healthy prior to training camps opening in May for the 2020 season.