Trevor Harris was nearing a return before Roughriders were bounced from playoff contention

The Riders held Garbage Bag Day on Sunday at Mosaic Stadium

Published Oct 22, 2023  •  3 minute read

Trevor Harris
Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Trevor Harris cleans out his locker after the 2023 CFL season came to a close. Photo by Taylor Shire

Trevor Harris was ready to make his return. 

The Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback — who suffered a tibial plateau fracture in his knee in Week 6 of the CFL season — was set to be cleared to return to practice next week ahead of the West Division semi-final. 

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However, the Riders were abruptly eliminated from playoff contention after a 29-26 loss to the Toronto Argonauts on Saturday, finishing the season with seven straight defeats for a 6-12 record. 

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“It’s almost like you’re riding downhill and somebody slams the brake real fast and you just fall,” said Harris. “It’s done and over with before you’re ready or expect it. 

“I didn’t sleep very well (Saturday) night. I laid there, just kind of a little bit in tears, just because I worked so hard to try and get back that way I could make myself available. 

“I don’t know that I would have been able to play in the West semi, but the doctor told me, he said, ‘I think we’d be having an awkward conversation about you playing in the West Final,’ which would be really miraculous because they initially told me it would be six-to-eight months before I’d be ready to play.” 

Less than 24 hours after the loss to Toronto, Harris and his teammates packed up their lockers on Sunday during Garbage Bag Day at Mosaic Stadium, as players head into the off-season, many not knowing if they will be back next year. 

Harris is under contract with the Riders for next season and says he would like to be back, but the 12-year CFL veteran knows he could also be released at any moment. 

And at age 37, he also knows he’s nearing the end of his playing career. 

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“I want to play football, I think,” said Harris. “I’m not one thousand per cent sure but daggone man, I’m not going to have that last play be like that I don’t think. 

“My last play can’t be me getting carted off the field. But at the same time, I’m not going to say it’s not. 

“I always take time to reflect after every season.” 

After signing a lucrative contract to be the starting quarterback in Saskatchewan this off-season, Harris played five games this season before the untimely injury. 

Harris had completed 104-of-157 passes for 1,274 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions, while leading the team to a 3-1 start. After the injury in the fifth game of the season, he spent the rest of the season on the six-game injured list. 

“It was very mentally challenging with the rehab,” said Harris. “It was just like the race against the clock trying to get back and one of those things where watching from the sidelines as the things were spiralling a little bit was difficult in a lot of ways. 

“It was definitely very, very difficult emotionally and mentally more so than physically. 

“We were on a nice pace but at the same time, you don’t control the outcomes in life, you always just control how you respond. 

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“My response was just to work hard every day and just be there as a resource for the guys and unfortunately it didn’t work, the outcome that we want, but it’s all about the next response.” 

Prior to the injury, Harris said felt as strong as ever, which makes him believe he can come back next season and make up for what was a disappointing 2023 season personally and as a team. 

“Physically this year, before the injury, I felt as good as I have in the past six, seven years,” said Harris. “I think I was running around and moving around better than I have in a lot of years past and did a lot of stuff last off-season to work on the arm strength. 

“And unfortunately, as I was finding my footing in this offence four or five games in, (the injury) happened. 

“I think I’ve got plenty of years left as a tier one quarterback in my own opinion, but again, just never know what the future holds.” 

tshire@postmedia.com

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