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Fans left in the dark over Riders starting quarterback for West Division semi-final
Published Saturday, November 10, 2018 2:50PM CST
Last Updated Saturday, November 10, 2018 9:49PM CST
UPDATE: TSN is now reporting that Zach Collaros will not start in Sunday's semi-final. For the previous version of this story, see below:
Chris Jones said he is preparing both Zach Collaros and Brandon Bridge to play in the West Division semi-final game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Sunday, but wouldn’t say who will be starting.
This is not the first time he has done this, said Jones. He recalled the playoffs coaching for Edmonton when he also prepped two quarterbacks when Mike Reilly was dealing with a day-to-day injury.
Speaking to media on Saturday, Collaros said he feels “fine” and knows if he will be starting or not. But when asked if he will be in uniform on Sunday he said, “I can’t say anything.”
However, the Riders released a tweet Saturday afternoon that read “Zach Collaros has been cleared to play, making his 15th start of the season.” The tweet has since been deleted.
Collaros is listed as number 1 on the depth chart.
Whatever happens, Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea isn’t overly concerned.
“It’s a small enough league you play everyone enough times. The film travels and you know who these guys are, and most importantly, it’s really about what our guys do,” he said.
The Riders won two of their three matchups with the Bombers this season, but their last meeting less than a month ago saw an unhappy ending for Saskatchewan, with Winnipeg winning 31-0.
Jones recognized that the Bomber’s offense is strong.
“They’re effective running the football and certainly very hard to stop. Once they get that momentum and those run plays going, I mean, they’re tough to stop,” he said.
But he also knows what the Riders need to fix to have a happy ending this time.
“Early in the game we turned the ball over and that’ll be the difference,” he said.
“I looked at a stat this morning, and the team that’s plus two, 100 per cent of the time they’re going to win the game, so we have to do a good job of taking the football away. Then when we have it, protect it.”
This is the first time this fierce rivalry will be taken into the post-season since the Grey Cup in 2007.