After the violent and totally unnecessary hit to the head suffered by Roughrider quarterback Zach Collaros last Thursday in Hamilton, we all hoped for the best but deep down knew otherwise.

Zach’s concussion history is too long and the hit by Hamilton linebacker Simoni Lawrence too vicious for anyone to realistically believe number 17 would bounce right back.

He’s not bouncing back.

Collaros has now been placed on the Rider six game injury list. Saskatchewan head coach Craig Dickenson is on record as saying Zach will be away from the team for some time.

The vast majority of Rider Nation is saying I told you so. I don’t know one single Roughrider fan who wanted Collaros re-signed over this past off- season, due in part to his lack of durability.

To be fair, who could have foreseen the ugly Lawrence hit a few plays into the season opener; a hit that could have concussed anybody, regardless of concussion history.

Rider GM Jeremy O’Day didn’t have his head in the sand. The Collaros contract is incentive-laden, with bonuses for the number of games started. If Zach doesn’t play for the rest of the season, the payout will be less than the deal he had a year ago.

I believe it’s clearly time for Zach Collaros to retire. He has to retire for the benefit of his own health, if he won’t, the Riders should not let him play.

Is it fair?


Zach is the victim of Simoni Lawrence, Avery Ellis, Odell Willis and other defenders who hurt him earlier during his playing days in Hamilton.

What an absolute shame.

I can’t imagine how Zach feels right now, obviously he’s not feeling fine physically, but emotionally how do you reconcile this?

It will take time, but for Collaros, it’s time to begin the next chapter in his life.

If he’s interested, he’d make a great coach.

Don Hewitt started covering the Saskatchewan Roughriders for CKCK-TV in 1979.