‘I don’t make the decisions’: QB Dru Brown ready to start Grey Cup for Blue Bombers if called upon

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Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ quarterback Dru Brown was suddenly thrust into the spotlight on Wednesday when franchise quarterback Zach Collaros missed practice due to an apparent leg injury.

“You never want to have to answer questions like this but it is what it is. I just prepare to play and if it happens, it happens. I don’t wish bad upon anybody but you prepare to play. As far as any questions goes for Zach, you can ask [head coach Mike O’Shea] or Zach himself,” he told the media on Wednesday.

“You prepare to play, but I don’t make the decisions on who to start or whatnot.”

The 25-year-old was not told that he would be taking first-team reps in practice until the team arrived at the facility on Wednesday. He said he’s seen Collaros moving around well despite the injury he suffered late in the West Final but declined to say whether or not he believes the veteran quarterback will start in the Grey Cup.

Brown started one game during the regular season, which came after the Blue Bombers had already secured first place in the West Division. He threw for 325 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions in a 40-32 loss to the B.C. Lions and expressed disappointment in his performance after the game as both of his picks were returned for touchdowns.

He suggested he feels “as comfortable as you can” in Winnipeg’s offence, though he has still only attempted 64 career passes in the CFL. The possibility of him starting on Sunday has drawn comparisons to the 2007 Grey Cup, which saw Ryan Dinwiddie make his first career start following an injury to Kevin Glenn. Coincidentally, Dinwiddie is now the head coach of the Toronto Argonauts.

Brown doesn’t plan to change the way he’s going to prepare this week regardless of whether or not he will start on Sunday. He also spoke highly of the toughness Collaros has demonstrated throughout their time together in Winnipeg.

“You treat it the same. If you treat it differently, then you’re probably playing another position,” he said.

“If there’s one thing about Zack is that he’s an ultra competitor and he’s tough. I’m sure if you ask Zach, it’s an ‘it is what it is’ kind of thing but I haven’t had much time to think about his feelings about it. I know that from what I’ve seen in a leader of our room is that he’s gonna go take it head on like he does everything else.”

Collaros spoke to the media after the West Final on Sunday and stressed that he would play in the CFL’s championship game, saying it’s “not even a question.” Head coach Mike O’Shea also indicated that he was not concerned about the health of his star quarterback.

The 109th Grey Cup is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 20 at 6:00 p.m. EST.

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.