Winnipeg quarterback Zach Collaros deems himself ‘ready to go’ for Grey Cup

Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros intends to play in Sunday’s Grey Cup game against the Toronto Argonauts despite an injured ankle.

Collaros didn’t practise Wednesday or Thursday in Regina, but told media “I’m ready to go. I’m ready to play.”

The quarterback rolled his right ankle when he was tackled in the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s West Division final win over the B.C. Lions.

“My foot just got stuck in the ground,” Collaros said. “It didn’t feel great on the ankle in the moment.”

When asked about his mobility, Collaros replied “It’s good.”

Thursday’s practice was closed. Blue Bombers backup Dru Brown took first-team reps Wednesday.

Collaros, who led the CFL in touchdown passes this season with 37, wants to get on the field Friday.

“I don’t like missing practice. I think it’s important,” Collaros said. “Every rep is important to get whether it’s a game rep, a practice rep. So just from the way that I see the game, I see the position, I think that you should be practising, so it’s tough.

“You don’t like being away from the guys. Especially the last couple days, it’s been pretty cold and windy and I wish I was out there suffering through it with them.”

The Blue Bombers have won two straight Grey Cups with Collaros as their starter. The last team to win three in a row was Edmonton during a run of five straight from 1978 to 1982.

The 34-year-old Collaros was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player in 2021 and was the West’s nominee for the award again in Thursday night’s awards ceremony.

Weather dictated another day of rest: Walters

Snowy, windy field conditions Thursday were a factor in keeping Collaros off the field, said Blue Bombers general manager Kyle Walters.

“We just thought it was better for him to just take another day and rest and rehab than go out in that weather,” Walters said. “With these conditions, it’s hard to get a ton out of a practice today.”

Winnipeg acquired Collaros at the October trade deadline in 2019 and won a Grey Cup with him in a matter of weeks, so Walters isn’t concerned about his quarterback’s lack of practice reps in the days heading into the championship game.

“We are creatures of habit and go through the same routine and that’s important,” Walters said. “But when we traded for Zach in 2019, he showed up and within a couple of weeks in the building was winning football games for us.

“He’s very astute and studying. It’s not like he’s just lounging around doing nothing. He’s spending his time in the meeting rooms and (watching) film.”