‘I left here pretty frustrated, but I came back with a positive attitude’: Riders’ QB Cody Fajardo ‘reenergized’ after team’s bye week

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Cody Fajardo and the Saskatchewan Roughriders are back on the field after the team’s bye week preparing to face the Edmonton Elks on Saturday.

The star quarterback has come back feeling “reenergized’ after going home to see his expectant wife Laura and celebrating their baby shower with friends and family.

“I left here pretty frustrated, but I came back with a positive attitude,” said Fajardo.

“I’m really excited to play football again and be around these guys — it was like a reunion. We come back from a bye week, catch up on the week with everybody, miss being around the guys because we’re used to it, but it was really nice spending time with my pregnant wife.”

The bye week was not only a mental break for the 30-year-old after the team lost three straight games, but a physical relief for his left knee injury.

“Physically I feel really good,” explained Fajardo. “I feel explosive again, I feel like I can get my legs underneath me and add that to my game. We’ll see how it goes out there when I start getting hit but I really feel confident.”

The six-foot-two, 223-pound passer is still wearing a brace on his injured knee, however. Fajardo agreed that the brace could remain on for the season.

“Talking with doc it sounds like it,” said Fajardo. “More preventative than anything, not set me back completely, but I’m excited to hit the field because I feel like my best since I had the injury.”

The California native and his team have some wins to earn, currently sitting fourth in the West Division at 4-4. The Riders have ten games remaining this season, seven of which are against strong divisional opponents.

He has recently been the subject of criticism from former CFL players, but the quarterback is choosing not to pay attention to the judgment.

“I feel like I took myself and dragged myself through the mud doing that last year and I’m a much happier person without it,” explained Fajardo. “I’m still on social media just not as much as I was before. But when everything looks doom and gloom, you just need to go to the people who love you and are closest to you.”

And Fajardo did just that, having 60 people attend his baby shower, leaving him feeling “positive” and “excited” to be a professional football player.

Despite not following the commentary, Fajardo did assess his game throughout his week off. In particular, he wants to improve on his turnovers and passing accuracy.

“I created some bad habits with my injury that led to some inaccurate footballs,” said Fajardo.

“I really tried to focus on that during the week, during practice and leading up to this game — trying to give our receivers some more accurate footballs. That’s my goal and just stay positive throughout it and be thankful to be the starting quarterback.”

Looking beyond himself and at the offence as a whole, Fajardo emphasized the importance of the offensive line and receivers having “continuity.” He believes that will lead to a “faster” and “better” team overall.

This week’s game will be the second time Fajardo and the Riders have faced the Elks this season. In Week 2, the Riders recorded a 26-16 win in Edmonton with Fajardo completing 20-of-26 passes for 247 yards and one touchdown without any interceptions.

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