REGINA — Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros practised Friday for the first time since his team landed in Regina for Sunday's Grey Cup.
Collaros rolled his right ankle in the CFL's West Division final 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 dropped back to pass with weight on his right foot and threw from the pocket and on the run Friday. He moved without apparent discomfort, but also didn't 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 practice on a suburban minor football field.
"The guy's a fighter," Blue Bombers running back Brady Oliveira said after practice "He's tough. He's tough as nails. There's no doubt in my mind that he wouldn't be playing this game.
"He's ready to go. He looked great out there today and we're excited to have him on the field with us Sunday."
The Blue Bombers have won two straight Grey Cups with Collaros as their starter and will chase a three-peat with him at Mosaic Stadium.
He guided Winnipeg to a league-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 per cent of his passes.
Winnipeg's offence 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 a long time," said Bombers receiver Greg Ellingson, who was Collaros's teammate in 2014 with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. "I think he can make almost any play.
"He believes he can make any play on the field, whether it's with his legs to extend the pocket, or whether it's preparing, reading the different coverages of the defences and knowing where to put the ball based off of how they play their techniques, or just support his teammates and put the ball in their hands, let them make a play.
"He just wants to go out there and win."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 18, 2022.
Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press