QB Trevor Harris to undergo surgery for tibial plateau fracture, Riders ‘not ready to rule out’ late-season return

Photo courtesy: Electric Umbrella/Liam Richards/Saskatchewan Roughriders

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are officially in the hands of backup Mason Fine after starter Trevor Harris suffered a serious right knee injury on Saturday. However, the team will not yet rule out a return for their veteran signal-caller before the end of the season.

The team released the following statement on the injury on Sunday afternoon.

“Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Trevor Harris sustained a tibial plateau fracture of his right knee midway through the fourth quarter of our home game Saturday night.

Unfortunately, this is a significant injury and he will soon undergo surgery in Regina.

We are optimistic Trevor will make a full recovery and are not ready to rule out a return at some point later in the season.

We know Trevor will tackle his recovery with the same focus and tenacity he shows on the football field.

Moving Forward, Mason Fine will be our starting quarterback.”

Recovery times for tibial plateau fractures vary wildly based on the severity of the injury, with most who require surgery needing at least six months to return to full activity. However, other athletes have recovered in under three months. Notable football players who have undergone treatment for the injury include J.J. Watt, who missed the 2017 NFL season, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who played with the fracture in 2018.

Harris suffered the injury on second-and-17 with 9:25 remaining in the game after taking off on a rare run. He was stopped just short of the marker by Darius Williams but a lunging Derek Wiggan rolled up on him from behind, causing him to grab his right leg in considerable pain.

The veteran pivot was immediately tended to by the training staff and remained down for a significant amount of time, as concerned teammates looked on. He was unable to leave under his own power and had to be carted to the locker room.

Fine took over with the Riders trailing 20-17 and would go on to lose 33-31. Harris completed 16-of-22 passes for 122 yards prior to exiting the game.

The Riders acquired Harris in free agency, signing him to a two-year contract valued at over $1 million dollars. He entered this week third in CFL passing yards, having completed 88-of-133 passes for 1,159 yards, six touchdowns, and four interceptions in four games.

Harris threw for 4,157 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions with the Montreal Alouettes last season, leading the team to an 8-7 record over 15 regular season starts. The 37-year-old also helped Montreal win the club’s first postseason game since 2014, throwing for 243 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in a 28-17 victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the East Semi-Final.

The six-foot-three, 212-pound passer started his CFL career in 2012 as a member of the Toronto Argonauts. He has since played for the Ottawa Redblacks, Edmonton Elks, and Als, throwing for 28,610 yards, 154 touchdowns, and 71 interceptions over 161 games. He has also rushed for 979 yards and nine touchdowns along the ground.

Fine is in his third season with Saskatchewan and has thrown for 870 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions in 23 games, including two starts at the end of the 2022 season. He was six-of-eight for 116 yards and two touchdowns following Harris’ injury, adding a 24-yard scramble.

The Riders are next scheduled to visit the B.C. Lions (4-1) on Saturday, July 22.