Saskatchewan Roughriders starting quarterback Cody Fajardo is feeling optimistic about the upcoming season as the team readies for training camp and Regina prepares to host the Gray Cup.
Fajardo will be in his third season as the starting quarterback for the Riders in 2022. He led the team to the Western Final in 2019 and 2021 where they lost to Winnipeg on both occasions.
The Riders and their quarterback will look to redeem themselves this year.
“Obviously Winnipeg is the team to beat because they are back-to-back defending Gray Cup champions and without a doubt they’re going to be number one going in. But there’s a lot of optimism around this football team. I think we’re really excited and we’re going to hit the ground running,” said Fajardo.
CFL training camps open Sunday, May 15 and teams must reduce rosters to 75 players by May 17.
Fajardo is excited to have a “normal feel” this year after the 2021 season saw a shortened training camp where teams were forced to place players in bubbles based on position.
“I’m super excited to just get a training camp and compete against these amazing players and see what this team is and really have that team camaraderie feel that we didn’t get back in 2021 because of COVID,” said Fajardo.
“I think there’s a lot of excitement around our receivers.”
The starting quarterback has spent his offseason working on consistency with the ball and looks to show off his hard work at training camp.
“I think when I show up to training camp, it always feels great. Everybody’s arm feels great. Then you start throwing more, you start taking some hits, and by the end of the season, you don’t have that consistency in your deep ball,” Fajardo said.
“I focused my off-season training on having that consistency and allowing myself to create more energy.”
This will be a season like no other for Fajardo. Not only will Saskatchewan play host to the Gray Cup, but the quarterback is expecting his first child due mid-season, something he said is his motivation for him to make it to that final game on home soil.
“My main motivation for this year is getting my little guy a picture sitting in the Gray Cup,” Fajardo said.
The Roughriders will begin their quest to become Gray Cup champions when they take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on May 23 at home in week 1 of the preseason.