‘It’s gonna be a limp until I’m fully healthy’: Riders’ QB Cody Fajardo continues to play through ‘painful’ knee injury

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Cody Fajardo’s nagging knee injury did not hold the Saskatchewan Roughriders back from winning in Week 5.

The Riders secured their fourth win of the season against the Ottawa Redblacks 28-13 at Mosaic Stadium.

The six-foot-two, 223-pound quarterback completed 17-of-22 throws for 231 yards and two touchdowns. The Brea, Calif. native was not intercepted and after Week 5 sits third in the CFL with 1,204 passing yards and six touchdowns through the air.

Despite the Riders improving to 4-1 this season, Fajardo is still dealing with a knee injury he suffered in Week 2 against the Edmonton Elks. The 30-year-old hasn’t missed any games but has worn a knee brace for the last three weeks.

Fajardo was hoping he could take his brace off for Week 5, but after experiencing some lower body hits in Week 4, he thinks it probably won’t come off until the Riders’ first bye week, which isn’t until the first week of August. Even with the injury lingering longer than hoped, he saw some improvement from Week 4 to Week 5.

“I feel better than I did last week,” said Fajardo. “That’s a positive, I didn’t take any shots to the knee that set me back. I’m still sore and [it’s] painful because it’s a football game, but I feel better than I did last week.”

Fajardo usually scrambles and runs well, but he has had to become more of a passer because of the injury. He had four carries for 12 yards in Friday’s game, but it was more than his one carry for one yard in Week 4 against the Montreal Alouettes. The veteran QB has a noticeable limp at times, but Fajardo said to expect it until the injury is recovered.

“I think it’s gonna be a limp until I’m fully healthy, but I had more than one rushing yard, that was the goal this week. It felt good to run around a little bit,” said Fajardo.

“The guys up front did a great job and I didn’t take too many hits to the knees, just some of those sneaks get a little gruelling, but that’s what kept me in the CFL and I don’t want to be taken off the field — I want to stay in as much as possible. We have a little bit of a longer break now, hopefully, I can get rested and feel good going to Halifax.”

Fajardo was not the only Rider dealing with an injury on Friday. Defensive lineman Pete Robertson, the CFL’s sack leader, might have a broken foot and left the field after an unnecessary roughness hit. Receiver Mitch Picton couldn’t finish the game either following an ankle injury.

The former University of Nevada product commended the coaching staff for making quick adjustments when the two players went down, but recognized his team’s injuries so far this season.

“Proud of the guys stepping up and hopefully we can just get healthy,” said Fajardo. “It just seems like losing Pete, losing Picton, it’s been tough for us to try and stay healthy every given week.”

The Riders will have seven days to recuperate before the team plays in the 2022 Touchdown Atlantic game against the Toronto Argonauts.

Olivia Lawrence is a University of Regina School of Journalism graduate who covers the Saskatchewan Roughriders for 3DownNation.