Zach Collaros Winnipeg Blue Bombers practicing for Gray Cup

REGINA — Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros practiced Friday for the first time since his team landed in Regina for Sunday’s Gray Cup.

Collaros rolled his right ankle in the CFL’s West Division Finals and didn’t step on the turf for Winnipeg’s first two practices this week.

The 34-year-old pivot, who won the league’s Most Outstanding Player award for the second time in as many years, has said he will play in Sunday’s championship game against the Toronto Argonauts.

Collaros fell back to pass with weight on his right foot and threw Friday out of the bag and on the run. He moved without apparent discomfort, but he also did not test the limits of his mobility.

Friday’s practices were a CFL-mandated day off from the media for both teams’ quarterbacks, so Collaros didn’t comment on how his ankle felt after a cold, windy workout on a small suburban football field.

“The man is a fighter,” said Blue Bombers running Brady Oliveira back after practice. “He’s tough. He’s rock hard. I have no doubt he wouldn’t play this game.

“He’s ready to go. He looked great today and we’re delighted to have him on the pitch with us on Sunday.”

The Blue Bombers have won two consecutive Gray Cups with Collaros as the starter and will go after a three-peat with him at Mosaic Stadium.

He led Winnipeg to a career-best 15–3 record in his 17 starts and led the CFL in touchdown passes (37). Collaros ranked second in passing yards with a career-best 4,183 and completed 70 percent of his passes.

Winnipeg’s offense ranked second in average points per game (28.2).

Collaros was the fifth player to win consecutive MOP awards and the first since Montreal Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo (2008–09).

“I’ve known him for a long time,” said Bombers receiver Greg Ellingson, who was Collaros’ teammate with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2014. “I think he can make almost any game.

“He believes he can make any play on the field, whether it’s using his legs to extend the pocket, or preparing, reading the different coverages of the defense and knowing where to place the ball based on how they play their techniques. or just support his teammates and put the ball in their hands, let them make a game.

“He just wants to go out and win.”

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on November 18, 2022.

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