Cody Fajardo retains Riders’ starting QB job despite Week 11 benching

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The Saskatchewan Roughriders are turning back to Cody Fajardo for the second part of their home-and-home against the B.C. Lions, despite unceremoniously benching him a week ago.

Fajardo is listed as the team’s starting quarterback for the Friday night rematch at BC Place, while backup Mason Fine — who took over before halftime during their 28-10 loss in Week 11 — remains in the second position.

The 30-year-old incumbent completed 8-of-13 pass attempts for 41 yards and two interceptions in a little less than two quarters of action in front of the hometown crowd a week ago. Fine entered the game and immediately led Saskatchewan’s only touchdown drive of the night, finishing 16-of-26 for 210 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Fajardo acknowledged this week that the benching was a painful experience, but the Riders have kept the faith in their franchise pivot and offered a shot at redemption.

The Nevada product has struggled this season due to a porous offensive line and a nagging knee injury. In nine starts, Fajardo has completed 155-of-231 passes for 1,827 yards, 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions while rushing 41 times for 157 yards and five majors.

The Riders are scheduled to kickoff against the Lions at 7:30 p.m. local time in Vancouver on Friday.