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Hewitt Commentary: Riders' decision on Zach Collaros looming
Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Zach Collaros looks toward Hamilton Tiger-Cats players as he leaves the field with an injury following a late hit during first half CFL football game action in Hamilton, Ont. on Thursday, June 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power
Published Thursday, July 4, 2019 8:13AM CST
After the 1-2 Saskatchewan Roughriders play 1-1 Calgary Saturday night at Mosaic, the Roughies will enter their first of three bye weeks in the 2019 schedule.
During the break the man who was the team’s starting quarterback to start the current season, Zach Collaros, will travel from his Ontario home to Regina and meet with Rider General Manager Jeremy O’Day and Head Coach Craig Dickenson.
At that point in time Collaros will be half way through his stint on the six-game injury list.
Collaros was hurt a few plays into Saskatchewan’s 2019 season lid-lifter when he was the victim of a dangerous and dirty head shot from Hamilton’s Simoni Lawrence. Collaros did not pass the concussion protocol after the hit. He apparently also hurt his neck on the play, hence the injury list.
Early last season Collaros missed four regular season games with concussion symptoms, and then late in 2018 he missed Saskatchewan’s home playoff game with concussion symptoms.
He was also knocked out of a game in Winnipeg after a head shot, but passed concussion protocol afterwards.
In Zach’s playing days in Hamilton, he missed games with concussion symptoms in 2014 and 2016.
Every time any person suffers a concussion, damage is done, so subsequent concussions will occur more easily.
I have already gone on record in an earlier commentary that Zach Collaros should retire from football for his own well-being. It isn’t fair that he took the multiple cheap shots that he did, but all that matters now is his personal future.
A football score is irrelevant.
So now, what happens if Collaros gets medical clearance and wants to play again?
Can anyone stop him?
What obligation does the team have to keep a player safe? Can the Roughriders tell Zach they won’t play him anymore for the sake of his own health?
These are very tough questions. It is not a happy situation.
I would be very nervous seeing Collaros back on the field again.
Sometimes you have to look beyond the here and now, and for many football players, that is often a difficult thing to do.
Don Hewitt started covering the Saskatchewan Roughriders for CKCK-TV in 1979.