Former Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Zach Collaros moving forward with Toronto Argonauts
Zach Collaros’s final day with the Saskatchewan Roughriders was proceeding as usual.
On Wednesday, the 30-year-old quarterback attended team meetings spoke with the CFL team’s medical staff regarding his rehabilitation plans for the day.
That’s when Riders general manager and vice-president of football operations Jeremy O’Day entered the room, pulled Collaros aside, and informed him that he had been traded to the Toronto Argonauts.
“When I first heard it, I really didn’t process it,” Collaros, who spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons with the Argonauts and recently purchased a home in the Toronto area, told reporters in that city on Thursday.
“(O’Day) said I was going back home. I said ‘that’s a good thing’ and I appreciated the way that he did it. He shot me straight and told me what was going on.
“I phoned my wife (who lives in the Toronto area) and she was over the moon and very excited about it. We’re close to family and there are a lot of familiar faces in this organization and that’s the good part.”
The Riders obtained a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2020 CFL draft. The pick could escalate into a second-rounder, based on playing time and contractual extensions.
Collaros began the 2019 season as the Riders’ starting quarterback, but suffered a concussion on the third offensive play of the opener absorbing an illegal hit to the helmet by Hamilton Tiger-Cats linebacker Simoni Lawrence.
Lawrence was eventually suspended for two games, including Thursday’s contest at Mosaic Stadium between the Riders and Tiger-Cats.
Collaros, who had slid to avoid contact to conclude a seven-yard run, was placed on the six-game injured list on June 16 and is eligible to return to the field next week.
“What happened earlier this year was just bad luck,” Collaros said. “I did what I had to do. I got down and unfortunately I took a hit that derailed me for six games.”
Collaros was kept out of the game after failing to pass CFL concussion protocols. The 30-year-old quarterback, who has suffered multiple concussions in his eight-year CFL career, sounded like he wasn’t sure if he had suffered another one. Roughriders head coach Craig Dickenson recently said that Collaros was concussed.
“I’ve met a lot of different doctors, physiotherapists and all of those different things,” he said. “They all say anytime it’s a head injury that it’s a neck injury and anytime it’s a head injury, it’s a neck injury.
“If you’ve done enough reading on it, as I have, or have as much experience with it as I do, anytime you do something to your neck you feel it in a lot of different places.’
Collaros said he feels better than he did when he was injured, but doesn’t know when he’ll join Toronto’s active roster.
He kicked off his CFL career with the Argonauts in 2012. After the 2013 season, he spent four seasons with the Tiger-Cats before being traded to the Riders on Jan. 3, 2018 for a second-rounder in that year’s draft.
He had a 10-4 record as a starter in 2018 while missing four regular-season games and the West Division semi-final due to concussions.
McLeod Bethel-Thompson started at quarterback for the Argonauts on Thursday when they played host to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Dakota Prukop and Michael O’Connor were second and third, respectively, on the Argos’ quarterbacking depth chart.
James Franklin, who began the season as Toronto’s No. 1 quarterback, suffered a hamstring injury in Week 3 and was placed on the six-game injured list.