WINNIPEG - The last thing one of the best quarterbacks in CFL history wants is to try to re-live his glory with cobwebs clouding his brain while sitting in his rocking chair.
After suffering concussion-like symptoms following a devastating blow that knocked him out of last week’s game against the Edmonton Eskimos, Montreal’s Anthony Calvillo underwent a series of tests before he was cleared to play against the Blue Bombers at Canad Inns Stadium on Friday night.
“The biggest thing is doing the impact test twice and finally getting the official approval from the doctor saying that from their aspect, they feel very comfortable that I should be clear of it,” Calvillo said at the team hotel Thursday. “I’m 39 years old, I’m not going to jeopardize my future, my brain, for a football game.
“So, as long as (the) protocols (that) are there say that I’m ready to go and that I (feel) comfortable, I’m going to go out there and compete.”
Calvillo currently leads the CFL with 3,628 yards passing, a league-leading 25 touchdowns and a CFL-best 105.2 efficiency rating. More importantly for the Alouettes, he gives them their best chance to win their third straight Grey Cup this season.
“We’re very, very fortunate,” said Montreal coach Marc Trestman, who spent the week wondering if Calvillo should play, asking, “Is this the right thing to do? Is he absolutely OK? Is there anything that could harm him that would be any different than if he would have started a week ago? And the answers have all been ‘No.’ He’s ready to go.
“I’m not a doctor, I just want to make sure that they’re safe out there from the start so they can play a game in the way that they are capable of.”
Winnipeg head coach Paul LaPolice was not surprised that Calvillo recovered so quickly.
“He’s a tough guy, been through a lot of things over the years,” LaPolice said.