QB Collaros itching to get back in action in his second go-round in Double Blue
On his first day back as an Argo, Zach Collaros began to think of the day when he can fling the football and lead the offence, which he can do with the best of the game’s quarterbacks.
When that day arrives remains the biggest question for Collaros, who remains on the six-game injured list.
Since the hit to the head in the season opener in Hamilton, Collaros has yet to practice.
An hour leading up to Thursday night’s opening kickoff against visiting Winnipeg, the Argos made Collaros available to a group of reporters, a number that took Collaros aback given the lack of media exposure the Argos receive.
Even during his rookie days in Toronto, which included a Grey Cup title in 2012, Collaros could count the number of fans using both hands.
With Collaros and his newlywed wife living in the GTA, Collaros expressed excitement of being back.
If all goes well with his health, hopefully he’ll be back on the field sooner than later.
“I definitely feel good being back in Ontario,” said Collaros, one of those true good guys in the sporting business. “Closer to home (his roots are in Ohio), closer to family. I’m happy to be here.”
Collaros said he and his wife moved into their new home 10 days ago.
News of the trade from Regina did catch Collaros off guard.
As he recalled, Collaros was on his way to a team meeting when Riders GM Jeremy O’Day delivered the news.
The person most happy for the trade was Collaros’ wife.
“Once she heard of it, she was over the moon. It’s going to be great, great to see some familiar faces. I’m just excited, excited to meet everyone here and learn some things.”
Argos GM Jim Popp admitted how he tried to trade for Collaros two years ago when the GM was looking someone to back up Ricky Ray.
When Collaros joined the Argos in 2012, Ray was the team’s incumbent on a depth chart that featured Jarius Jackson and Trevor Harris.
It wasn’t until the season finale against Hamilton, which needed a win to nail down a playoff spot, when Collaros saw his first action.
He entered the game with the Argos scrimmaging inside their own five-yard line.
He promptly led the offence on a touchdown drive that essentially knocked the Ticats out of the playoffs, a loss that cost George Cortez his job as head coach.
What Collaros does best is lead.
He knows how to read defences, protect the football and get the ball in the hands of playmakers.
“When I’m able to get back on the field we’ll see how things go,” said Collaros.
The plan for Collaros is to meet with the Argos’ medical staff before he even thinks about returning to practice.
Following Thursday’s game, the Argos have a bye week before they next play on Aug. 16 when Edmonton comes to town.
Sadly, Collaros has met more than his share of doctors the past two years in the wake of injuries.
“They (specialists) say any time it’s a head injury, it’s a neck injury. Any time it’s a neck injury, it’s a head injury. Unfortunately I’ve been experienced with it and any time you use your neck you feel it in a lot of different places.”
Collaros says he’s feeling a lot better than he did six weeks ago.
“I continue to make progress,” he added. “There are a lot of people here who have helped me, not just physically in this (Argos) organization, but also in this province who helped me to feel better.”
Popp is glad to have Collaros, who came to the Argos for a conditional draft pick in 2020.
“I tried my damndest to get him in 2017,” said Popp. “Hamilton wouldn’t let us have him. Here’s the opportunity to get him and we’ll see what he can do.”
ARGOS LOSE FOGG PRE-GAME
The Argos were left to deal with a loss well before they kicked off against Winnipeg.
Kevin Fogg, who signed with the Argos in free agency after playing for the Blue Bombers, left the field during warmups with an unspecified injury.
Fogg wasn’t able to play, meaning the Argos had to summon rookie defensive back Caleb Ham, the son of hall of fame quarterback Tracy Ham, from the practice roster.
Toronto’s secondary featured Jonathan Dowling at corner in his first start of the season.
On the game’s opening possession, the Blue Bombers were aided by a Dowling penalty that allowed Winnipeg to kick a field goal.
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