Cody Fajardo back as Riders’ starting quarterback in Week 8 despite lingering MCL injury

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have listed Cody Fajardo as the starting quarterback for their Week 8 matchup with the B.C. Lions, despite missing last week due to injury and COVID-19.

Fajardo has been wearing a brace on his left knee since Week 2 due to damage to his MCL (medial collateral ligament) and reportedly suffered a “major setback” to the injury two weeks ago in the Touchdown Atlantic game after being tackled low by Toronto defensive tackle Shawn Oakman.

The franchise quarterback was viewed as a 50/50 shot to play last week due to the injury but ultimately had the decision taken from him when he contracted COVID-19 as part of a large outbreak on the Riders. Fajardo did not practice all week and was unable to dress in Week 7, giving way to third-stringer Jake Dolegala under centre — the team’s only healthy QB.

Dolegala was 13-of-28 for 131 yards, one touchdown and a pick in the loss, with Mason Fine a game-day decision to serve as his backup after he too failed to practice last week due to COVID. Fajardo is now back on top of the depth chart this week, with Fine remaining in the backup role and Dolegala stashed on the one-game injured list.

There have been calls to rest Fajardo for his own safety due to the severity of the injury, but it appears that head coach Craig Dickenson will not heed them and instead plans to re-insert Fajardo.

In six starts this season, the 30-year-old 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, though his production on the ground has been severely dampened since the injury.