Riders’ QB Cody Fajardo: ‘At this point, it’s probably best just to focus on 2021’

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com
Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo is nothing if not honest.

Fajardo has been waiting patiently for a decision on whether the CFL will play games in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The uncertainty has been difficult for the 28-year-old signal caller.

“For me it’s been pretty frustrating just because you never know what’s going on, a lot of my information I get off Twitter. I feel like when you’re a high profile athlete in the league, you should at least be getting updates, but it just seems like nobody has any answers,” Fajardo said on 620 CKRM radio in Regina.

“I can’t imagine a lot of these guys who have families and who haven’t been as lucky as me to sign a bigger deal. We’re all playing this waiting game, but how long are we going to wait before there’s a decision? And that’s what’s frustrating.”

Winnipeg has tentatively been chosen as the league’s hub city if a shortened season happens this year. The moving deadline date for kick-off of the potential six-game schedule would be October 1. That’s already fall around the country and the temperatures start to dip when it gets to that part of the calendar in Canada.

“The Winnipeg location, if it’s B.C. and we know we’re in a dome, then it’s OK to push things back further and further, if we’re going to have a bubble series in B.C. But some of those games late in the year, the longer we wait, are going to be pretty chilly,” Fajardo said.

“And, I know for me personally, the last thing you want to do as a player is go up there and jump right into cold weather games because then you can’t really get in rhythm and no one likes playing in the cold as is.”

Any return to play plan would need to include stringent protocols and positive government response to health guidelines is an essential component of the assistance that the league has asked for in financial aid. Even though there has been growing positivity that the league could receive an interest-free loan from the federal government, valued at close to $30 million, Fajardo feels focusing on next season might be most prudent.

“For me, I think at this point, it’s probably best for us just to focus on 2021. As an athlete I can’t get through my mind 2021 because there’s still that slim chance of playing, and I think that’s the hard part,” Fajardo said.

“To be in limbo it’s really hard. When they say, ‘Oh there’s still a chance we’re going to play this year,’ it’s like well I’m training but I’m not training as hard as I should be. You want to be able to plan for a future. Hopefully we can find something out by next Friday.”