SIGNED: •International quarterback, Drew Tate ADDED TO PRACTICE ROSTER: •National kicker, Quinn van Gylswyk pic.twitter.com/tfviUQfo7U
Riders sign QB Drew Tate out of retirement for playoff push
Tate, 34, announced his retirement after nine CFL seasons with the Calgary Stampeders and Ottawa Redblacks this past June.
A native of Baytown, TX, Tate has thrown 410 completions for 5,008 yards and 35 touchdowns for his career in 48 games. He has also rushed for 24 touchdowns.
Collaros, 30, left last weekends 35-16 win over the B.C. Lions early after taking a hit to the head from Odell Willis. Willis was fined an undisclosed amount by the league for the play which they deemed a “high hit.” It marked the third time this season that Collaros has left a game early after taking a hard hit to the head.
Tate's signing comes as questions swirl about Riders' starting quarterback Zach Collaros's availability for the playoffs.
Riders coach Chris Jones said after the game that Collaross early exit was simply a precautionary measure.
“He should be fine, but we pulled him just to be safe.” Jones said. “[Collaros] took a good shot, a head-gear-to-head-gear shot; for precautionary reasons our trainers thought it was best to take him out of the football game, thats about all I know at this point.”
The Roughriders are inactive during the seasons final weekend with a bye. They finish the season at 12-6 and will learn their playoff fate following the Stampeders game with the Lions on Saturday night. A Stamps win or tie means the Riders will host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the West semi-final next weekend, but a Lions victory ensures a division title for the Roughriders and a bye into the Western final.
On a Week 21 bye, the Roughriders await the results of this weekend’s contest between the BC Lions and Calgary Stampeders to find out if they will host the Western Semi-Final or Western Final.
The 33-year-old appeared in 18 games for Ottawa last season as the backup to Trevor Harris, making one start. He completed 30 passes on 43 attempts for 338 yards and three touchdowns with an interception. The Redblacks released Tate in February.
Tate spent two years on the Saskatchewan Roughriders practice roster before signing with the Stampeders in 2009 and playing eight seasons in Calgary. He won two Grey Cup championships on his career with 410 completions on 615 attempts (66 per cent completion rate) for 5,008 yards, 35 touchdowns and 16 interceptions while adding 162 carries for 629 yards and 24 touchdowns.
Tate would be eligible to play in the post-season and his signing is sure to raise questions about the health of the current Rider quarterbacks. Starter Zach Collaros left the team’s last game against the B.C. Lions after taking a headshot from defensive end Odell Willis. Back up Brandon Bridge took over and gave way to third-stringer David Watford late in the fourth quarter.