Roughriders provide update on Trevor Harris; move forward with Mason Fine

Saskatchewan Roughriders General Manager Jeremy O'Day speaks at a press conference at Mosaic Stadium on the injury of Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Trevor Harris (7) on Tuesday, July 18, 2023 in Regina. PHOTO BY KAYLE NEIS /Regina Leader-Post

by Taylor Shire

Regina Leader-Post

On Tuesday, Saskatchewan Roughriders general manager Jeremy O’Day told reporters that the quarterback — who was injured during the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game against the Calgary Stampeders — had successful surgery after suffering a tibial plateau fracture in his right knee. 

Harris not only had plates and screws added to the fractured bone, but he also had his lateral meniscus repaired, according to O’Day. 

“The surgery went well by all accounts and he’s on the road to recovery,” the general manager told reporters at Mosaic Stadium. 

Despite it being a long-term injury, the Riders haven’t ruled out the 37-year-old Harris for the remainder of the season. 

“He’ll be pretty much non-weight bearing for about six weeks,” said O’Day. “From there, he’ll start working on his rehab. 

“He’s already anxious to come back and help the guys in the meetings rooms and stuff and we’re trying to get him to just sit tight at home and spend time with his family and let his leg heal up.” 

After being the top free agent acquisition for the Riders this off-season, Harris recently started his 101st game in the CFL and no doubt leaves big shoes to fill. 

“Trevor is the starter for a reason, and he’s got all the experience in our league and success that he’s had,” said O’Day.  

“It’s not something you look forward to, but you’ve also got to be optimistic with the next quarterback that is going to get his opportunity.” 

And that next quarterback will be 26-year-old Mason Fine, as the Riders have already declared him to be the starter on Saturday in Vancouver against the 4-1 BC Lions (5 p.m., TSN). 

“The opportunity is there,” said Fine, who is set to make his third career start in his third season in Green and White. 

“You don’t get very many opportunities, so you’ve got to make the most of it but again you’ve got to have the balance of not trying to do too much and putting that pressure on yourself.” 

Fine earned the opportunity to be the backup — and now starter — after beating out fellow quarterbacks Jake Dolegala and Shea Patterson after all three put together solid training camps

And what separated Fine from the others was not only his play, but his composure, according to O’Day. 

“He’s not afraid of any situation,” said O’Day, who noted that the team has no plans to bring in another quarterback. “The game’s not too big for him. He’s cool as a cucumber when he’s put in these situations.”

And while O’Day said the pressure shouldn’t fall solely on the shoulders of Fine, it’s still going to be a challenge for him to seize the opportunity. 

“Everything changes when you’re the starting quarterback,” said O’Day. “When you walk around town, when you walk in the building, it’s different than when you’re not the starter. 

“You look at the players in the past, they all needed an opportunity to play, and he’ll certainly have his opportunity now.” 

And while Fine understands the magnitude of the task at hand of being the starting quarterback of a CFL team as widely followed as the Riders are, he doesn’t want to put too much pressure on himself this week. 

“Go in there being confident,” said Fine. “You don’t try to mold yourself to be someone you’re not. Be the quarterback you are. 

“I’ve got to prepare and step up to the plate and be the best quarterback I can be for this team and go win games.”