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With Chris Streveler injured, Zach Collaros leading Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ offence

Zach Collaros practices with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Tuesday at IG Field. Marek Tkach / Global News

When the Winnipeg Blue Bombers returned to the practice field on Tuesday it was new quarterback Zach Collaros leading the offence.

Blue Bombers quarterback Chris Streveler was hurt in Saturday’s loss to the Calgary Stampeders and did not practice Tuesday.

Head coach Mike O’Shea was pretty tight-lipped about his quarterback situation heading into their regular season finale on Friday in their rematch with the Stamps, but Streveler has not been ruled out to play this week.

“He had the day off today,” O’Shea said.

The Bombers are scheduled to have a closed practice on Wednesday, so O’Shea could be keeping his cards tight to his vest.

“I think they’re all options,” O’Shea said. “I like our quarterback room. They got to be the toughest quarterback room in the league by far.”

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Collaros took all the reps with the first team offence in practice, but he hasn’t thrown a single pass this season after getting concussed in the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ season opener. Streveler is 3-5 since taking over the starting job from an injured Matt Nichols.

Considering he’s only thrown for 300 yards once in his eight games as the starter, Collaros might be the quarterback that gives the team the best chance to win, with the club needing a victory in their final game to have any chance at hosting a home playoff game.

“It feels really good just to be in the huddle,” Collaros said. “Anytime you have an opportunity to play, it’s a great thing, right?

“You prepare every single week thinking it’s going to be your shot, and just go from there.”

READ MORE: ‘Chris Streveler is the starter’: Blue Bombers’ sophomore remains number one QB after Zach Collaros trade

It’s now been almost two weeks since they acquired Collaros in the trade with the Toronto Argonauts, so he should have a pretty good grasp on the playbook.

“From a terminology standpoint, and conceptually, it’s all things every guy in this league has seen,” he said.

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“A lot of teams do the same stuff. Lapo (Paul Lapolice) does a lot of different things to keep defences off-balance, especially in the run game with the motion. So learning those little terms have been a bit difficult until they tell me, the why.”

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Streveler injured his hand in the first half against the Stamps and stayed in the game. But he was re-injured in the second half and had to come out of the game temporarily with a very noticeable limp. Some have questioned why a clearly hurting quarterback was even put back in the game in the first place.

“It starts with the medical staff,” O’Shea said. “Al (Couture) looking at him, and saying ‘he’s cleared’ and then Strev and I have a talk, and then it’s my decision.

“Two-and-a-half minutes left in the game when he pulled the ball down when the picture wasn’t clear for him and he ran outside and beat an end and a linebacker for 15 yards, and a first down, I know he’s ready to go.”

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O’Shea was clear that Streveler could still start on Friday even without practicing this week.

“I’m always hopeful,” he said.

The Bombers and Stamps are scheduled to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at IG Field.

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