CFL announces rescheduling after Edmonton Elks COVID-19 outbreak

Also making news yesterday was the rescheduling of the Edmonton Elks game against the Toronto Argonauts due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the Elks locker room.

As a result, the Elks will play three games in seven days, starting with the Riders on Nov. 13 in Regina, followed by playing in Toronto Nov. 16 before wrapping up the season in BC Nov. 19.

CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie was on the Sportscage Thursday, and says there wasn’t a lot of options when trying to reschedule.

“Rescheduling football games is very difficult because the turnaround time is paramount to giving players a chance to recover, but we knew going into the season that if we had a COVID outbreak and we had to attempt to reschedule, we knew it was going to be tough,” Ambrosie said. “I think the positive note is we’re going to play, and the players wanted to play.”

The Riders now travel to Edmonton on Nov. 5 when they were initially supposed to host the game.

Ambrosie says a lot of cooperation from all parties involved was needed to make this work.

“Without going into detail, what I can tell you is some really smart people put their heads together and came up with a solution, but it only worked because everybody involved in this cooperated, and it ultimately allowed us to get this done,” Ambrosie said. “If any one of these pieces hadn’t come together, the whole thing would have broken down.”

After Canadian Offensive Lineman Jacob Ruby was released by the Elks for violating COVID protocol, reports surfaced the CFL barred teams from signing him. Ambrosie says the league and the CFLPA have agreed not to speak to the specifics of the situation.

“What I can say is this; there was a significant breach of the protocols. Those protocols are there to protect the teams, they’re there to protect the coaches, the players and all of our football operations personnel, and frankly they’re critical to having us have the kind of season that we all wanted to have when we got started.”

The Elks will play their first game since 12 players tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday when they visit Calgary.

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