There's no quarterback controversy with Roughriders in Cody Fajardo's mind
It may only be the third game of the season but the Saskatchewan Roughriders already appear to be facing a must-win situation when they host the Toronto Argonauts at Mosaic Stadium on Monday. Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo (7) hands off the ball to teammate Marcus Thigpen (8) during second half CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks, in Ottawa, Thursday, June 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, July 3, 2019 11:25AM CST
He's got the hot hand right now, but Cody Fajardo says there's no quarterback controversy with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
In Fajardo's mind, the starting job Zach Collaros's to reclaim once the veteran comes off the injured list.
"My job when I signed here was being the backup and my role as a player right now is to help this team win as much as I can while I get the opportunity but Zach's our guy," Fajardo told reporters after leading Saskatchewan past Toronto 32-7 on Monday night. "He's shown he can play at the highest level and I'll be here to help him all the way through it.
"I know it's always hard when you kind of get pulled out because of an injury . . . I'm just hoping for his good health and just coming back. And then for me doing whatever I can to help this team win whether that's just being the short-yardage guy, being the backup and telling Zach (and Riders coaches) what I see on the sidelines."
Fajardo has been nothing short of sensational in his first two starts with Saskatchewan. The 27-year-old has thrown for 790 yards with four TDs and no interceptions while rushing for two touchdowns.
Fajardo completed 24-of-31 passes for a career-best 430 yards with two touchdowns while running for another against Toronto on Monday night. He will make his third straight start Saturday night when Saskatchewan (1-2) hosts the Grey Cup-champion Calgary Stampeders (1-1).
Fajardo became the starter after Hamilton linebacker Simoni Lawrence hit Collaros in the head in the Tiger-Cats' 23-17 season-opening victory. Collaros went on the six-game injured list shortly afterwards.
Fajardo himself is surprised with his gaudy passing numbers.
"Usually I'm a runner and I haven't ran much so I love that," Fajardo said. "It keeps my body feeling a lot better.
"My wife doesn't get as scared watching it because I'm not taking a bunch of hits."
Calgary could also be forced to go with its backup quarterback. Starter Bo Levi Mitchell was injured late in the Stampeders' come-from-behind 36-32 win over B.C. on Saturday night.
Backup Nick Arbuckle came in and completed all nine of his passes for 93 yards and the game-winning three-yard TD strike to Eric Rogers with 42 seconds remaining. Rogers finished with nine catches for 100 yards and three touchdowns.
It was originally thought that Mitchell, the CFL's outstanding player last season, had suffered a shoulder injury but Mitchell indicated after the B.C. win he'd hurt a pectoral muscle.
Mitchell underwent an MRI on Tuesday but the Stampeders are reportedly seeking a second opinion. Arbuckle is expected to start against Saskatchewan.
"We're excited for the opportunity," Fajardo said. "Our goal was to be 2-2 going into the bye week and I think it's definitely a possibility.
"Our main goal as well is to protect our home field. If we can win every home game we're going to be in the hunt."