Mason Fine fails to cement status as Cody Fajardo’s backup in Riders 2022 preseason finale

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

For seven months, it has been Mason Fine’s job to lose.

Through the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ first preseason game there was no indication that anyone but Fine would be Cody Fajardo’s backup quarterback.

However, Friday night in Vancouver cast some doubt on the certainty of that declaration. Fine struggled in his second appearance of the exhibition season, completing 5-of-12 pass attempts while failing to connect on any big plays.

Jake Dolegala, on the other hand, completed 9-of-11 pass attempts for 77 yards including a connection with Justin McInnis for a 15-yard touchdown.

Dolegala did also have one costly mistake with an interception but with the upside potential of a quarterback who stands six-foot-seven, the Rider brass could be tempted to show patience with the 25-year-old former Cincinnati Bengal going through his first-ever CFL training camp.

It is likely that both quarterbacks will be kept around after camp but there are only two quarterback spots on the active roster, leaving room for only one of them to join Fajardo.

Would the Riders be willing to risk losing the big Dolegala in favour of a much smaller quarterback who struggled in his second preseason opportunity? After Friday’s loss in B.C., that scenario would seem a lot less likely than it did earlier in the week.

Mason being Fine enough to win the backup job is anything but a sure thing.

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