He's got the hot hand right now, but Cody Fajardo says there's no quarterback controversy with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
In Fajardo's mind, the starting job Zach Collaros's to reclaim once the veteran comes off the injured list.
"My job when I signed here was being the backup and my role as a player right now is to help this team win as much as I can while I get the opportunity but Zach's our guy," Fajardo told reporters after leading Saskatchewan past Toronto 32-7 on Monday night. "He's shown he can play at the highest level and I'll be here to help him all the way through it.
"I know it's always hard when you kind of get pulled out because of an injury . . . I'm just hoping for his good health and just coming back. And then for me doing whatever I can to help this team win whether that's just being the short-yardage guy, being the backup and telling Zach (and Riders coaches) what I see on the sidelines."
Fajardo has been nothing short of sensational in his first two starts with Saskatchewan. The 27-year-old has thrown for 790 yards with four TDs and no interceptions while rushing for two touchdowns.
Fajardo completed 24-of-31 passes for a career-best 430 yards with two touchdowns while running for another against Toronto on Monday night. He will make his third straight start Saturday night when Saskatchewan (1-2) hosts the Grey Cup-champion Calgary Stampeders (1-1).
Fajardo became the starter after Hamilton linebacker Simoni Lawrence hit Collaros in the head in the Tiger-Cats' 23-17 season-opening victory. Collaros went on the six-game injured list shortly afterwards.
Fajardo himself is surprised with his gaudy passing numbers.
"Usually I'm a runner and I haven't ran much so I love that," Fajardo said. "It keeps my body feeling a lot better.
"My wife doesn't get as scared watching it because I'm not taking a bunch of hits."
Calgary could also be forced to go with its backup quarterback. Starter Bo Levi Mitchell was injured late in the Stampeders' come-from-behind 36-32 win over B.C. on Saturday night.
Backup Nick Arbuckle came in and completed all nine of his passes for 93 yards and the game-winning three-yard TD strike to Eric Rogers with 42 seconds remaining. Rogers finished with nine catches for 100 yards and three touchdowns.
It was originally thought that Mitchell, the CFL's outstanding player last season, had suffered a shoulder injury but Mitchell indicated after the B.C. win he'd hurt a pectoral muscle.
Mitchell underwent an MRI on Tuesday but the Stampeders are reportedly seeking a second opinion. Arbuckle is expected to start against Saskatchewan.
"We're excited for the opportunity," Fajardo said. "Our goal was to be 2-2 going into the bye week and I think it's definitely a possibility.
"Our main goal as well is to protect our home field. If we can win every home game we're going to be in the hunt."
Pick — Saskatchewan.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs Montreal Alouettes (Thursday night)
At Montreal, Vernon Adams Jr. makes a second straight start for the Alouettes (0-2) after completing 14-of-24 passes for 173 yards with a TD and interception in last weekend's 41-10 road loss to Hamilton (3-0). The Ticats have scored 105 points the past two weeks. Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli threw for 417 yards and a TD last week with three interceptions. Receivers Brandon Banks (seven catches, 152 yards, 30-yard rushing TD) and Bralon Addison (eight catches, 121 yards, two-point convert) and running back Sean Thomas Erlington (five catches, 102 yards, TD) were all solid.
Pick — Hamilton.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs Ottawa Redblacks (Friday night)
At Ottawa, the surprising Redblacks (2-0) come off the bye week after edging Saskatchewan 44-41 on June 20. Starter Dominique Davis threw for 354 yards and three TDs versus the Riders while Dominique Rhymes had 11 catches for 168 yards and a touchdown. The Bombers (2-0) are coming off a 28-21 home victory over previously unbeaten Edmonton, which had 445 total offensive yards and held the ball for over 36 minutes. Matt Nichols was 13-of-21 passing for 200 yards but had three touchdown passes. Lucky Whitehead recorded seven catches for 155 yards and two TDs.
Pick — Winnipeg.
B.C. Lions vs Toronto Argonauts (Saturday night)
At Toronto, two winless teams square off at BMO Field. B.C. (0-3) held a 21-1 lead over Calgary last week before the Stampeders rallied for the 36-32 victory. That tarnished a solid effort by Lions starter Mike Reilly (354 yard passing, two TDs). It's been a miserable start for the Argos (0-2), who've been outscored 97-21 and surrendered over 1,100 offensive yards in one-sided losses to Hamilton (64-14) and Saskatchewan (32-7).
Pick — B.C.
Last week: 4-0.
Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press