“We’re still cool.” No bad blood between Riders QB Mason Fine and former teammate Cody Fajardo



There is no shortage of storylines leading to Friday’s matchup between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Montreal Alouettes.

The biggest one will be at quarterback on both sides as the Alouettes Cody Fajardo will meet his former teammate Mason Fine in Fajardo’s first matchup against Saskatchewan since he signed with the Alouettes this past off-season.

Fine served as Fajardo’s backup last season with the Roughriders before Fine moved ahead on the depth chart and started the final two games of the 2022 season.

While they were together, the Roughriders’ quarterback received a lot of help from Fajardo.

“He’s taught me a lot.”

Fine said the two quarterbacks had a strong bond, and he still has a lot of respect for him.

“In the end it was more like a big brother little brother type of thing, it’s how it is, I still look up to Cody, I still learn a lot from him, he’s been in the league, he’s had success.”

Despite a potentially awkward situation when Fajardo was demoted at the end of last season, the former Rider handled it with class, according to Fine.

“He (Fajardo) was all about the team, how can we be successful.”

Fine added the relationship remains strong between the two.

“We’re still cool.”

Friday will mark Fine’s fourth start since taking over for Trevor Harris as the Saskatchewan starting quarterback. On Sunday, Fine earned his first career win as a starter leading the green and white to a 26-24 win over the Ottawa REDBLACKS. The North Texas product was 23 for 37 with 296 passing yards with a touchdown. Fine also chipped in as a receiver as he recorded a reception for 8 yards after he caught a deflected pass and ran it upfield for a positive gain.

The brother vs brother dynamic between Fajardo and Fine has replaced the original storyline for this game after Harris suffered his knee injury last month. The 37-year-old spent two seasons in Montreal before he and Fajardo swapped places in the off-season in separate free-agent moves.


Dickenson: No Hard Feelings

Fajardo won’t be the only member of the Alouettes facing off with his old team on Friday. Montreal head coach Jason Maas will face the Roughriders for the first time after serving as the team’s offensive coordinator for two seasons before the team elected to let Maas go at the end of last season.

There may be some hard feelings from the Montreal side, but from Roughriders head coach Craig Dickenson’s perspective, he has no ill will.

“I wish them all the best, except for this week.”

The Riders head coach explained the changes in offence during the off-season were something the team had after a difficult 2022 season.

“If we would’ve been successful, they’d still be here, but we weren’t good enough on offence and we felt we needed to make changes.”

This week’s contest between the Roughriders and Alouettes will be the only matchup this season.



Practice Notebook 

  • Today was a closed practice for the Roughriders and their only full length workout on the field. Following tomorrow’s practice, the team will travel to Montreal.
  • Earlier in the day, the team announced it had released wide receiver Derel Walker. Dickenson said “We just didn’t have a spot for him.” He also pointed out the efforts of the other receivers on the team including Tevin Jones who replaced Walker in the starting lineup.
  • The injury report was released following practice. Mitch Picton (head) will miss his third straight game. With Kian Schaffer-Baker (hip) and Juwan Brescacin (shoulder) still sidelined, the team will likely use an extra American as a starting receiver.
  • Brandon Council (knee) is also out this week, Eric Lofton filled in for Council last week at left tackle.
  • Fullback Albert Awachie will miss Friday’s game (knee).

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