Winnipeg Blue Bombers won’t play QB Zach Collaros in preseason finale

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The Winnipeg Blue Bombers will not play franchise quarterback Zach Collaros during their second and final preseason game against the Calgary Stampeders on Friday night.

“We’re holding some guys out — Zach won’t play, that’s one,” O’Shea told the media in Winnipeg on Wednesday, indicating it was a group decision between himself, Collaros, and offensive coordinator Buck Pierce. “There’s probably gonna be several more, but we haven’t really gotten right down to it yet.”

The 35-year-old didn’t play in Winnipeg’s first preseason game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, which means he will enter the regular season on June 6 without seeing any game action since 2023.

“Every year with Zach or with certain guys, you ask them what they think they need. If there’s a difference of opinion, you discuss why there might be,” said O’Shea. “Fortunately, there isn’t a difference of opinion on this. (Collaros) feels good, he’s confident with where he’s at, Buck sees it the same way, I see it the same way, so it’s a pretty easy decision.”

The six-foot, 219-pound native of Steubenville, Ohio threw for 4,252 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions last season and was named a West Division all-star for the third consecutive year. He has thrown for 28,599 yards, 184 touchdowns, and 86 interceptions over his 12-year CFL career, putting him on pace to surpass 30,000 yards and 200 touchdowns this season.

The Blue Bombers lost to the Saskatchewan Roughriders by a score of 25-12 in their first preseason action on May 20. Chris Streveler started the contest in his first CFL action since returning from the NFL and completed seven-of-eight pass attempts for 65 yards along with three carries for 25 yards.

Eric Barriere, who was a standout at Eastern Washington University, struggled in relief of Streveler and has since been released. Former XFL quarterback Terry Wilson got into the game late and posted the best stat line of the three Winnipeg passers, completing 10-of-15 pass attempts for 115 yards and one touchdown.

The Blue Bombers have since added another quarterback into the fold with Darren Grainger signing a contract on May 25. The six-foot-four, 225-pound native of Conway, S.C. spent the past three seasons at Georgia State University, where he completed 62.7 percent of his pass attempts for 6,779 yards, 57 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions. He also ran for 2,130 yards and 19 scores.

Winnipeg will play its final preseason game on Friday, May 31 when they host the Calgary Stampeders at 8:30 p.m. EST.