Collaros and Harris take the spotlight during Grey Cup Week


With both Grey Cup teams landing in Regina on Tuesday, each team got down to business on the first day of practice. The Toronto Argonauts practiced outdoors at Mosaic Stadium, while the Winnipeg Blue Bombers also practiced outdoors, but their venue was Leibel Field.

The biggest news from the first day was the absence of Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros. The QB injured his ankle during the Western Final on Sunday against the BC Lions. Dru Brown took the first team reps for the Blue Bombers in place of Collaros.

Brown answered questions about his possible participation this week following practice. At the beginning of his availability, Brown maneuvered around questions about the status of Collaros for the Grey Cup, as he noted that he wasn’t notified that he would be taking the first team reps until moments before the beginning of practice.

Offensive lineman Patrick Neufeld says the Bombers organization have been through this scenario of replacing a starting quarterback before and that the club will draw back from past experiences if they need to do so once again.

He added that the team has no drop off in confidence if Brown has to replace Collaros on Sunday.

“He puts in a ton of work, whether it’s in the film room, the therapy room, the gym, he’s always making sure that he’s ready to roll.

Receiver Nic Demski also shares a lot faith in the Bombers backup quarterback.

“He’s always in high spirits and that’s all I need to see from him, he’s confident, I’ll be confident.”

Brown says that he has a backup mentality in case he does receive a surprise start on Sunday.

“If it happens, it happens, I don’t wish bad upon anybody, you prepare to play.”

Thursday’s practice for the Bombers will be closed.

Collaros received a supportive message from one of his opponents this week, former teammate Andrew Harris.

“I know he’s a warrior, it’s going to take a lot to get him out of this game, I wished him all the best, we want to see there best in the game too.”

Harris signed with a contract with Toronto earlier this year after spending six seasons in his hometown in Winnipeg, he said that he had the Grey Cup date circled on his calendar when he signed with the team.

“Not for any other reason just cause it would be amazing to do it and the excitement in it. ”

After winning two Grey Cup titles with his hometown team, Harris is on the verge of pulling off another rare feat, defeating his hometown team in the Grey Cup. The running back pulled off the accomplishment back in 2011 with the BC Lions.

“I don’t know if I’ll be welcomed back to Manitoba after this.” he said jokingly.

At 35, Harris has built up a successful career with three Grey Cup champions, a Most Outstanding Canadian Award, a five time CFL All-Star, among other accolades. He said that if his body can hold up 25 carries a game another year, he probably would be back, but he also wouldn’t dismiss a happy ending on Sunday.

“Capping this off, there isn’t much more I can do, there’s also a little bit of riding into the sunset that go along with that too if possible. “

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