Winnipeg Blue Bombers advance to third straight Grey Cup, but Zach Collaros suffers injury

Photo: David Mahussier/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are headed to their third straight Grey Cup game thanks to a 28-20 victory over the B.C. Lions, but it may have come at the cost of the league’s best player.

With the Bombers ahead by two scores late in the fourth quarter, quarterback Zach Collaros scrambled to escape pressure and was hauled down from behind by defensive end Sione Teuhema. The CFL’s reigning Most Outstanding Player left the game with an obvious limp after having his ankle twisted underneath him and was unable to return despite his best efforts, giving way to backup Dru Brown for Winnipeg’s final offensive series.

Collaros finished the game 14-of-20 for 178 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in a run-heavy affair. Expected to take home his second consecutive M.O.P trophy as a part of Grey Cup festivities, his health status will be the biggest story heading into next week.

In front of a raucous hometown crowd, it was Canadian running back Brady Oliveira who set the Bombers up for a chance at the Grey Cup three-peat, running the ball 20 times for 130 yards and adding four receptions for 37 more through the air. Winnipeg’s ground-and-pound attack controlled the pace while B.C. struggled to move the ball with their own injured quarterback.

Canadian Nathan Rourke opened the game with five straight incompletions and didn’t find his footing until late in the fourth quarter, completing 20-of-37 passes for 300 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions while pushing through the pain of a surgically repaired foot. He now offers a cautionary tale for a Bombers’ team that will spend a week managing their own injured pivot.

With or without Collaros, the two-time defending champions will take to the field on November 20 in Regina for the 109th Grey Cup, where they’ll face a familiar foe. Earlier in the day, former Bomber and Winnipeg native Andrew Harris helped power the Toronto Argonauts to victory in the East Final, ensuring a showdown with his old club.