Collaros out with concussion symptoms, Bridge in as starter

By Arielle Zerr/CJME News Staff
June 27, 2018 - 8:22am

Zach Collaros took a pounding in Thursday night’s game against the Ottawa Redblacks and now he’ll miss significant time because of it.

Canadian quarterback Brandon Bridge will start in Collaros’ place for the foreseeable future.

Roughriders head coach Chris Jones said his starting pivot has been moved to the six-game injured list after going through concussion protocol during the game.

“Anytime you have a concussion it’s a serious situation,” he said after practice on Tuesday. “I’ve got a son and I would want to make sure my son was protected too, so it’s good that we have the protocol.”

Collaros, who has had multiple concussions during his CFL career, could come off the six-game early if his symptoms clear up, but Jones is not thinking about that right now.

“You can be optimistic all you want but I’ve seen some guys that didn’t respond well (to treatment) so we’ll just go with whatever cards that we’re dealt.”

The concussion came after Collaros was pounded repeatedly in the first half of the football game as the offensive line couldn’t seem to get a handle on the Redblacks defence.

“We didn’t play very good, our quarterback took 11 hits out of 30-something passes,” Jones said, with obvious disappointment.

Though perhaps more disappointed was the offensive line themselves.

“It’s a pretty bad feeling,” said left guard Brendon LaBatte about watching his quarterback go down. “We had a pretty good idea that he had been hit pretty well and then he went out there and we weren’t able to take any more pressure off him and he ended up taking a couple more to kind of add to the situation so it’s definitely not a good feeling when you see the number one man having to come out of a ball game.”

LaBatte said he didn’t feel like the Redblacks showed them anything out of the ordinary, rather, the line has to come out stronger and with a better attitude.

“I think the biggest thing is we just got to go out there and have some bad intentions,” said LaBatte. “I thought right from the get go we were just out there trying to do a job but we didn’t really have the attitude or the demeanour about us to really do that job effectively, so I thought that’s where we lacked. I thought we were soft out there.”

Bridge gets second start as a Roughrider

Saturday will mark Brandon Bridge’s second start behind centre for the Roughriders since signing with the club in the summer of 2016.

Bridge made one start for the Riders last season in Hamilton, completing 21 of 31 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns and securing a 27–19 win. He also became the first Canadian quarterback to throw three touchdowns in a game since Greg Vavra in 1984.

He said he’s learned a few things from that start.

“If you have a bad series, don’t worry about it just go out there and just have fun and execute,” Bridge said. “The system that we have will protect us so just go out there and do my job and don’t’ try to do anything fancy and just know that we also have only one more quarterback on the roster so just got to limit all my hits.”

Bridge is, of course, happy for his opportunity, but wishes it could have come about another way.

“I never wanted to start because of an injury, obviously, so hopefully Zach gets healthy and comes back quick,” Bridge said.

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