If Cody Fajardo’s status for Week 7 was described using an emoji, it would be a green check mark.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders franchise quarterback received the go-ahead from the medical staff after going through all of the necessary steps of the league’s concussion protocol.
“Throughout the week I progressed nicely, didn’t have any setbacks, no problems sleeping, no problem remembering plays. I went through all the protocols, talked to the doctor and made the best decision for me,” Fajardo said.
Fajardo suffered a concussion in the third quarter of the 2021 Banjo Bowl when Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive linemen Willie Jefferson took him down for a sack. His head banged into the turf at IG Field and he appeared to be in pain prior to being put into the protocols for a head injury.
“The only way you can take me out of a game is if a bone is sticking out of the skin, but unfortunately the concussion protocol is more serious than a bone sticking out of the skin. I had no option but to sit,” Fajardo said,
“I can take a big hit all day, the turf monster is the one that got me. After the game I felt fairly well, I remembered everything that went on in the game, it wasn’t like concussions in the past where they have been severe.”
The Riders gradually increased his physical workload at practice while preparing to host the Toronto Argonauts on Friday night in Week 7 of the CFL schedule. Head coach Craig Dickenson elected to close practice to the media on Wednesday, the final day of real on-field preparation.
“Day one he passed with flying colours, day two we increased him, passed with flying colours, day three, same thing. He passed all the tests with flying colours. 100 percent confident — I think he’s going to have a good game and I think he’s ready to roll,” Dickenson said.
“He feels good and passed all of the necessary steps that you need to in the concussion protocol. From visiting with him and asking him how he feels, and from visiting with our medical people, we feel like he’s 100 percent ready to roll.”
Fajardo helped lead Saskatchewan to three consecutive wins to start the current season, but the team has recently lost two straight against their prairie rivals to fall to 3-2. The 29-year-old signal caller has completed 72.2 percent of his passes for 1,153 yards with four touchdowns, and five interceptions this season.
“I feel personally, if I’m healthy enough, ready and willing to play, I should be out on the field,” Fajardo said. “Hopefully helping our team win a football game.