Riders’ QB Cody Fajardo heartbroken for ‘vulturing’ touchdown from Paul McRoberts

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Saskatchewan quarterback Cody Fajardo isn’t celebrating the fact he scored the Riders lone touchdown in their Week 3 win over the Ottawa Redblacks.

Instead, Fajardo feels like it should’ve been receiver Paul McRoberts major all along since it was the pass catcher who made a 19-yard reception on the previous play before being tackled just shy of the end zone.

It spoiled a touchdown for the player making his Roughrider debut and instead set up Fajardo for the two-yard sneak himself.

“Yeah, I vultured his touchdown so I felt bad,” said a grinning Fajardo after the fact. “And that’s one of those things where he worked his tail off to get down there.”

“In a tight game like that, I wish you could dial up a play to get him that touchdown, but he did a great job of getting us down to the two-yard line and we finished the drive with a touchdown. Our only touchdown of the night, it was huge.”

McRoberts hasn’t had much glory in his pro football career, yet. Especially when you consider this was his first game action in nearly four years since he last suited up for the Los Angeles Rams.

After spending 2019 on the Riders practice squad and then sitting at home to wait out the COVID-19 pandemic, McRoberts started this season, once again, on the practice roster.

A broken foot injury to Shaq Evans forced the green and white to shuffle their receiving group, opening a spot for McRoberts to start at slotback in Week 3 versus the Redblacks.

McRoberts caught each of the four passes thrown his way for 42 yards, something Fajardo suggests is proof that six-foot-three, 192-pound St. Louis native is the real deal.

“That’s what he does and I’ve seen him do it all of training camp and like I said, the last piece of the puzzle to Paul McRoberts’ game was: ‘Can he do it in a game?’ And he clearly went out there and played very well.”

Head coach Craig Dickenson liked what he saw from McRoberts, too.

“We were very happy with Paul. He’s a good dude, he works hard, he comes to work every day and puts on his hard hat, so to see him have a productive day was gratifying. Not just for me but that whole locker room was happy for him. He was getting a lot of love at the end of the game,” Dickenson said.

Dickenson wasn’t sure if McRoberts had followed all of his on-field assignments or not, but with Evans out for at least five more games and now Jordan Williams-Lambert injured in the Redblacks game, it’s unlikely we’ll see McRoberts scratched from the Roughrider starting lineup anytime soon.

Brendan McGuire has covered the CFL since 2006 in radio and print. Based in Regina, he has a front-row view of Rider Nation.