Saskatchewan Roughriders’ QB Cody Fajardo has MCL ligament damage in his left knee

Photo Courtesy: Ingrid Bulmer/ All right reserved.

Cody Fajardo’s lingering knee injury is a ligament issue, but the star Saskatchewan Roughriders’ quarterback has returned to practice and plans to play in Friday’s Week 8 game against the B.C Lions.

“It’s an MCL [medial collateral ligament] unless there’s something new,” said head coach Craig Dickenson. “We know he’s got some ligament issues and hopefully it heals up on its own and he’s able to play.” 

The six-foot-two, 223-pound passer did not play in the Riders’ Week 7 game against the Toronto Argonauts. Fajardo tested positive for the coronavirus during the week but also has the persistent knee injury, which he suffered in the team’s Week 2 game against Edmonton. 

“It wasn’t my knee that held me back, it was COVID protocol,” explained Fajardo to 980 CJME reporter Britton Gray. “I wasn’t out of COVID protocol until Sunday, the day of the game, so the coaches looked after me and didn’t want me to go out there with no practice.”

Originally, Fajardo hoped his knee injury would be behind him by Week 5, but after experiencing lower body hits, the 30-year-old continues to wear a knee brace for practices and games. 

“It was almost a blessing in disguise missing that last week as much as I didn’t want to miss it,” said Fajardo. ”COVID had other plans and it’s really helped me get my feet back underneath me, rest some things that were not only my knee, but other problems that I had lingering.” 

Fajardo said the toughest thing for him right now is getting his “wind back” and feels like he’s in shape to play all four quarters of a football game. It seems the aftermath of COVID or a knee injury is not making the quarterback doubt if he will be on the field for game day.

“I feel like it might be up to other people, but if it’s up to me, I’m playing,” said Fajardo to Regina Leader-Post reporter Murray McCormick. “Maybe I spoke too soon by saying definitely I’ll be out there, but I’ve been talking with the doc and talking with coach. I think everybody feels like we’re on the same page and I should be able to be healthy enough to go out there and play some football.”

In six starts this season, Fajardo has produced a 4-2 win-loss record. He’s completed 118-of-171 attempts (69 percent) for 1,488 passing yards and eight touchdowns against five interceptions with a QB rating of 99.3. The dual-threat QB has also rushed 28 times for 98 yards and two touchdowns.

“He’ll play no matter what,” said Dickenson. “We’ve got to ask him how he feels, we’ve got to evaluate what he looks like and see if what it looks like is what he’s telling us. It’ll be a team effort with him having a large say in it but also the doctors and the coaching staff.”

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