Saskatchewan Roughriders’ quarterback Jake Dolegala apologized to his teammates and fans on Monday after being charged with impaired driving in Regina during the team’s recent bye week.
“I’d like to apologize to my teammates, to the fans, to this organization. It’s difficult and embarrassing to go through something like this. I never wanted to be a distraction to our goal, to what we want to accomplish this year with playoffs coming up. Just a terrible time,” Dolegala told the media on Monday. “I feel like I let a lot of people down.”
Dolegala indicated that he is currently seeking legal counsel and declined to discuss any details regarding his arrest. He informed the team of the situation and felt it was important to be forthcoming with the organization.
“It’s obviously a difficult conversation to have but I wanted to be upfront with it and just put everything on the table. No secrets,” he said.
The Riders have issued discipline in the form of a one-game suspension, though it’s unlikely that Dolegala would have dressed for this week’s game even if he were eligible to play. He has been a healthy scratch for 12 of the team’s 14 games this season as the third-string quarterback behind Cody Fajardo and Mason Fine.
“He’s embarrassed by it, he feels bad about it,” said head coach Craig Dickenson. “Hopefully, he learns from it and grows from it but it was an unfortunate situation. He made a bad choice and we’re gonna support him because he’s one of our teammates, but we also know that he has some things that he has to do to make things right.”
Dickenson was appreciative that Dolegala disclosed his arrest with the team instead of trying to hide it. He believes that the young quarterback’s honesty regarding the situation could start him on the path to making things right.
“We want to be transparent with this city, our province, with the media and we need the help from the players, so for him to own up to it, he came in yesterday and saw me and told me. I thought that was a good first step hopefully in healing and getting back on track,” said Dickenson.
“It was tough news. It was tough to visit with him, you could tell he felt bad about it and was really ashamed that he had to break the news to us.”
The 25-year-old has seen action in two games this season and completed 16-of-35 pass attempts for 154 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. He started Saskatchewan’s 31-21 loss to the Toronto Argonauts in Week 7 as the club had a number of players test positive for COVID-19.
The six-foot-seven, 242-pound passer went unselected in the 2019 NFL Draft and spent time with the Cincinnati Bengals (2019), New England Patriots (2020-2021), Green Bay Packers (2021), and Miami Dolphins (2021) prior to coming north.