The Hamilton Tiger-Cats' Grey Cup hopes were dealt a significant blow Monday when the team announced that star quarterback Zach Collaros will miss the rest of the 2015 CFL season with a knee injury.
Collaros – who leads the league in passing yards with 3,376, and in touchdown passes with 25 – suffered a torn ACL early in the second quarter of Saturday's 25-18 loss to Edmonton at Tim Hortons Field.
The injured quarterback tweeted a statement Monday evening thanking fans, coaches and players for their support.
"Your thoughts and prayers have been overwhelming and truly humbling," he said. "I will work my hardest for my teammates and our organization to come back stronger."
"Until then, I believe in our team and believe we will bring the 2015 Grey Cup to Hamilton."
Collaros appeared to injure his right knee while being tackled on a running play in the second quarter at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton during Saturday's game. The Tiger-Cats were leading the Eskimos 7-0 at the time of the injury. Edmonton came back to win 25-18.
Hamilton leads the CFL's East Division with an 8-4 record and is now on a bye week – so backup quarterback Jeff Matthews has two weeks to get ready for the Ticats' next home game on Oct. 2 versus Calgary.
The rookie quarterback didn't fair well in relief over the weekend, however, as he had a fumble and three costly interceptions. Matthews was replaced by third string quarterback Jacory Harris who didn't fare much better.
Fans were quick to react to the news Monday: