‘I feel like I really am 100 per cent’: Roughriders’ QB Trevor Harris ready to roll in 2024

Kayle Neis/Regina Leader-Post Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Trevor Harris (7) runs the ball during the second half of CFL action at Mosaic Stadium on Thursday, July 6, 2023 in Regina.

Taylor Shire

Regina Leader-Post

Trevor Harris isn’t about to back down from something in his way.

“I always say if you see me in a fight with a bear, pray for the bear,” said Harris, the Saskatchewan Roughriders veteran quarterback.

As the Roughriders get set to take on the Edmonton Elks on Saturday (2 p.m., TSN) to open the 2024 CFL season, Harris had an opportunity to reflect on his latest victory: fully recovering from a tibial plateau fracture in his right knee suffered during the 2023 season.

“To say that I knew I’d be back to 100 per cent would be a lie,” said Harris. “Even going back February, there’s good days, there’s bad days, there’s tough times but I never let tough moments stretch into tough hours and tough hours stretch into a tough day.”

Harris — who turned 38 on May 31 — admitted there was a time he doubted a potential return to the field. But as his knee progressed during the rehab process, his mentality continued to improve.

Now that he’s completed a full training camp — which included completing 7-of-9 passes for 123 yards in the first pre-season contest — he deems himself good to go physically and mentally.

“Every day was a battle and I never really knew how it was going to respond until I got out here,” said Harris. “The first few days it felt good enough but to be truthful, it’s been better every single day.

“I feel like I really am 100 per cent. I don’t feel any restrictions; I don’t have anything going on.”

While the first few weeks back on the field for training camp went well, the same can’t be said about the early parts of his recovery process following the injury suffered in Week 5 against the Calgary Stampeders, when Harris scampered towards a first down before getting twisted up and landed on.

“I knew something bad happened right when it happened,” said Harris. “If you’ve ever broken a branch over your leg, that was like the sound that went through my head and it happened a few times.”

He was carted off the field and underwent surgery shortly after. However, it wasn’t too long before he went into attack mode in his recovery process, although he admits he may have been too eager.

Just a few weeks after the surgery, Harris attempted to walk on an underwater treadmill despite being told he shouldn’t be walking yet.

“The first six or seven weeks I wasn’t allowed to walk and that was a tough discipline,” said Harris. “It ended up swelling on me a little bit because I was a bit of a bad patient.

“The meniscus needed time to heal and the bone was actually fractured in five places, it makes it a little bit more difficult.

“So having that patience to begin and really just having that patience throughout the process.”

Harris credits Roughriders head athletic therapist Greg Mayer and ARPneuro’s Jake Kozens as key people in his recovery process.

Now, almost a year later, Harris is ready to hit the field for the 169th regular season game of his career — 329 days after playing his 168th.

“It’s something that I wasn’t sure would happen but all glory to God for me,” said Harris. “I think I might even be actually run the ball a little bit this year.”

Whether the pocket passer is joking or not is up for debate but what’s not up for debate is how the insightful quarterback appreciates the game as he is set to enter his 13th season in the CFL and second in Saskatchewan.

“You’re always grateful to come out here but sometimes it just feels like Groundhog Day,” said Harris. “But I’ve just approached each day with gratitude.

“I don’t take a single day for granted (and) I don’t take a single moment for granted.”

Note: Saturday’s game, originally scheduled for 5 p.m., has been moved to 2 p.m. to accommodate the Stanley Cup Finals.