MONTREAL - Anthony Calvillo gamely answered questions, joked with reporters and looked surprisingly good for someone who was knocked unconscious on the weekend.
"That's a two," Calvillo said when a pair of fingers were held up to him as he settled in to address a media scrum following Montreal's practice on Tuesday.
The Alouettes all-star quarterback was speaking publicly for the first time since being knocked out cold by the Eskimos' Marcus Howard in the Montreal Alouettes' 34-21 win on Friday in Edmonton.
The laughter came easy since Calvillo has not had any concussion symptoms since the moments after he was levelled by Howard. The third-quarter hit knocked Calvillo unconscious, though the CFL's all-time leader in touchdown passes recovered soon enough to remain on the bench for the rest of the game and fly back to Montreal with his teammates.
"Basically once I got up I went to the sideline and my head was pounding like there was a headache," Calvillo said. "They gave me a couple of Tylenol and I think after I took the Tylenol, I felt like I was going to throw up, basically two minutes after that.
"And then about five minutes after that there was no headache, no nausea and nothing else that came up so that's why they allowed me to fly home. And then since then everything's pretty much been the same."
Amazed at his own recovery, Calvillo was at a loss to explain whether or not he had suffered a concussion.
"That's where I'm still a bit confused because, since I've had no symptoms of a concussion, they're saying that maybe it wasn't," he said. "But being knocked out there's always that hesitation that you have to be cautious.
"I'm going through the protocol, just like there was a concussion, because I still assume that's what it is, or that's what it was, but the thing is I've had no symptoms at all since after the game and right now I'm on target to get back on the field."
The 39-year-old quarterback was to undergo a series of memory and speed tests Tuesday. He had performed the tests successfully on Monday night.
"Right now everything seems to be on target because as long as this impact test comes back again positive, after the doctors look at my scores, I should be able to move forward," he said. "The only thing that would probably prevent me if something comes up now until game day but since nothing's occurred since the hit occurred, I really don't see it happening."
Added Alouettes coach Marc Trestman" "He tested and graded out above the baseline, far above. That's a good sign that it wasn't a concussion."
Veteran Alouettes defensive lineman Anwar Stewart had a hard time looking on from the sideline when Howard delivered the hit, particularly because Calvillo was looking down searching to recover a fumble.
"I told him when that ball was on the ground, you should have tucked and rolled and ducked, do something," Stewart said. "I said, 'Don't take hits like that.' We were very concerned but he's tough."
Calvillo felt there was nothing he could have done to better protect himself from the hit.
"It was a split-second, just like that, but football is a violent game and sometimes there are hits like that that just remind you how violent it is," he said. "That's what I do for a living and that's not going to change."
Backup quarterback Adrian McPherson steered the Montreal on to victory Friday night, though he admitted that it was a challenge to take over from Calvillo after the hit.
"I was just scared," McPherson said. "For me it was a scary sight but at the same time I had to mentally just try to get myself focused and go out and try to help this team win a ballgame. I'm happy that he's O.K. Health is the most important thing for me so it's great that he's O.K. and I'm glad that I could go in and perform and help this team get a win."
Brandon Whitaker was named the CFL's offensive player of the week. He ran for 113 yards and a TD and added five catches for 64 yards and two touchdowns against the Eskimos.
He found an added positive in the Alouettes' collective relief about Calvillo's speedy recovery as Montreal prepared for Friday's showdown in Winnipeg.
"It definitely makes it a lot easier but you know Adrian's a great quarterback and if A.C. goes down we have all the confidence in the world in Adrian," said Whitaker, the league's rushing leader with 906 yards. "You saw what he did at the end of the game last week? He had a good one so we're good to go."