Riders vs Argos game very much in question due to Riders COVID outbreak


The status of Saturday’s game between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Toronto Argonauts is still very much in the air as the Riders deal with an outbreak of COVID-19 within the organization.

Riders General Manager Jeremy O’Day provided an update on the situation on Wednesday.

O’Day provided a timeline of what has transpired with the Riders in regards to the COVID situation. He said a player on the team received a positive test last Tuesday. Following the positive test, the team immediately tested the close contacts of the player which resulted in an additional player and staff member testing positive.

After the subsequent positive tests, the Riders tested the entire team, after the whole team was tested, O’Day said all of the tests came back negative.

The next day the Riders flew out to Halifax, O’Day said the Riders did not receive another positive test until the day of the game. A player experienced COVID symptoms the morning of the game against the Argos. The player was tested inside of the locker room and at the time the player received a negative test but the coaches and training staff decided it should be better if the player sits due to the severe symptoms. Following the game, the player was tested again and this time the test came back negative.

The player was then isolated,  and was taken to a hotel and he didn’t travel back with the team from the Maritimes.

There were no further positive tests on team after as the Roughriders flew back to Regina on Saturday night. On Sunday, the entire team and staff were tested once again where the team was notified that three players and two staff members had positives tests.

On Monday, the players were tested again in the morning, this time there was one player and two staff members with confirmed positive tests. Yesterday, the players were brought into the facility to undergo testing once again where five players had positive tests.

This morning, testing occurred with one player and one staff member who had positive COVID tests.

Since last Tuesday, Saskatchewan has experienced 13 players with positive confirmed COVID tests along with five staff members.

The status of Saturday’s game was still in question as of Wednesday. O’Day said there will be a lot of conservations with the league over the next day.  He added that the status of Saturday’s game will likely be determined sooner than later.

“We’re getting very close, we’re not at the point we’re changing or postponing any games right now, but it’s getting close to the point where it becomes difficult to have a game when you don’t have enough time to practice or if  you make you have enough players to put on the roster. ”

The General Manager says it has been a tough situation for the players.

“No one is really doing anything wrong, there’s no one to blame, it’s something that we’re going through, it’s disappointing, we had hoped we can avoid it and get through the season without having an outbreak like this. They’re staying positive, but really is they kind of want to know what happens next. ”

O’Day isn’t sure yet what would happen to the Riders and Argos game if it was postponed. He was not aware if the game would be moved to another day, if the game will be cancelled, or if the Riders will be forced to forfeit the game.

If the Riders do not receive any additional positive tests tomorrow, O’Day says there is a chance the game could go on as scheduled on Saturday.

The outbreak has affected every positional group on the team according to the Vice President of Football Operations for the Riders.

As of Wednesday, the Argos have not had a confirmed positive test.

One last resort the Riders might have to utilize to field a full team this weekend is by pulling players from the other team’s practice roster. O’Day says it is a possibility that they are exploring, but added they would be more likely to bring back players who were with the team and are at least familiar with the Riders playbook.

The team said they would be providing an update on the situation on Thursday morning.



More from 620 CKRM