Despite suffering at least two concussions in 2018, Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Zach Collaros said he never considered retirement, and is feeling healthy heading into the 2019 season.
The head injuries caused Collaros, 30, to miss four regular-season games and the West Division semifinal, which the Riders lost 23-18 to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Mosaic Stadium.
“Did retirement cross my mind? Not very much. About a week after that final game I was feeling pretty good and haven’t had any issues since,” Collaros said.
“I love this game. I’m a competitive person and I just want to get back out there and play.”
The Riders announced his one-year deal on the first day of CFL Free Agency (Tuesday), after losing out on other big-name quarterback free agents.
Mike Reilly signed a four-year deal with the B.C. Lions, Trevor Harris signed for two years with the Edmonton Eskimos and Bo Levi Mitchell signed onto four more years with the Calgary Stampeders, who the Riders expressed interest in.
“Anytime a player has concussions there’s always a concern. It’s not something we wouldn’t say isn’t a concern, but we feel good about his recovery and where he is right now,” said Jeremy O’Day, Saskatchewan Roughriders vice-president of football operations and general manager.
O’Day said he understands the risks associated with concussion-related injuries and is still in talks with some veteran quarterbacks.
“With any team, you’re going to want a backup that you feel you can win with so those discussions are ongoing,” O’Day said.
But O’Day made it clear Collaros will be their guy when the 2019 season kicks off.
“Zach is our number one quarterback. He’s going to come to camp as our number one quarterback and we hope he has a great year,” O’Day said.
Collaros said he plans on making the most of the opportunity and proving he can be a valuable piece to the Roughriders success.
“All I can really control is what I do and my play. My job is to go out there and manage games and try to win games for this club,” Collaros said.
Collaros won 10 games in 14 starts last season, threw for 2,999 yards and had nine touchdowns.
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