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CFL provides update regarding 2020 - CFL.ca
The Canadian Football League issued a statement Wednesday regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and how it could alter the remainder of the 2020 calendar.
TORONTO — The Canadian Football League issued a statement Wednesday regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and how it could alter the remainder of the 2020 calendar. The statement reads as follows: “We have learned three things about running a league in a pandemic. Certainty is hard to come by. Scenarios are plentiful. And public safety is paramount. So, while we keep our focus on safety, we want to keep our fans informed as the number of possible scenarios narrows and decisions are made. Return to Play: September at the EarliestIt now appears the earliest the CFL might return to play for a shortened but meaningful season is this September. Of course, a final decision on whether that will indeed happen will depend on what governments tell us is safe for our players and fans. But barring some huge development, like a vaccine for COVID-19, it now seems clear we can rule out playing games this summer. There are several reasons, including the continuing restrictions on assemblies, travel and border crossings. Notably, several provinces and municipalities have already decided to prohibit until September 1st, all sporting events featuring large gatherings. We know there is a great deal of interest in whether we might play with or without fans, or with social distancing rules in place. We are examining all possibilities with both public safety and financial viability in mind. Its just too soon to speculate on what a return to play in September might look like. Please note that we are not announcing or promising a return this fall. We are just letting our fans know this remains one of the remaining possible scenarios for 2020. A cancelled season is also possible. Again, its too soon to make a sure call at this point. The 2020 Grey Cup: A Change of PlansThe pandemic has had a drastic effect on travel, tourism and the economy. It has become increasingly clear we will not be able to host a traditional Grey Cup and Grey Cup Festival, certainly not with the size and scope that has become customary. With that in mind, and in agreement with the Roughriders, we have made the decision to change our Grey Cup plan. The Saskatchewan Roughriders have been awarded the 2022 Grey Cup. And if we return to play this year, the host of the 2020 Grey Cup Game will be determined by a win and host model. The team that qualifies for the Grey Cup and has a superior regular season record to its opponent will host the Grey Cup Game. This gives all nine CFL teams a shot at hosting the Grey Cup in this unprecedented year. We are also considering moving the Grey Cup into December, as we explore every option that will allow us to play as many games as possible in 2020. The plan for the Grey Cup in 2021 remains unchanged: the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will host for the first time in 25 years. To our amazing fans in Saskatchewan: we look forward to once again celebrating your passion for the CFL with a Grey Cup Game and Festival just a little down the road. RELATED: Sask GC moved to 2022 | More on the CFL and COVID-19 | CFL, Purolator tackle hunger Touchdown Atlantic: Not This Year, SadlyThe pandemic is forcing us to cancel the Touchdown Atlantic game in Halifax, which had been scheduled for July 25. The only thing deeper than our regret is our resolve to return to Atlantic Canada. It pains us that this pandemic is preventing us from showing our friends in Nova Scotia, in person, just how saddened we are by the senseless tragedy they have been forced to bear, and how much we admire their strength. We will directly reach out to the fans who have purchased tickets for TDA, which was a sellout. GratitudeWe want to thank the organizers, sponsors, volunteers and fans who have put so much love and passion into planning for the 2020 Grey Cup in Saskatchewan and Touchdown Atlantic in Halifax. We are grateful to the entire CFL family for its support and patience. Thank you to our fans, partners and staff for sticking with us. We feel badly for our players, who give us so much to cheer for on the field and in the community. We are honoured to work with them as we forge the path forward. A special note of thanks to our season ticket holders. So many of you have reached out to us, looking not for refunds on your deposits, but reassurance about our future. This means the world to us right now. Thank you. Another thank you to all the essential workers. Youre our champions. To families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19: our thoughts continue to be with you. A Last WordWe know a lot must fall into place for us to play games this September. Ive said myself it doesnt appear to be our most likely scenario. But there is one other thing weve learned in this pandemic: a lot can change in 100 days. Whatever comes, we will follow the advice of governments and public health officials. There is only one thing we want more than the return of CFL football and that is a safe and healthy Canada.” Wednesday’s statement comes just over a month after the League acknowledged that the 2020 regular season would not start on time. A week prior to that announcement, the League announced it was postponing Training Camp in order to adapt to the ongoing pandemic. The League had already announced it was postponing its Global Draft until the start of camps. The week before, the league cancelled its remaining Combines for the 2020 season. For more information on the COVID-19 and how it relates to the CFL, please click here for more information.
Lions strike early, set tone in 2020 CFL Draft - CFL.ca
The BC Lions knew what they wanted and found a way to get it in the 2020 CFL Draft.
TORONTO — In a year thats been full of unique circumstances, the 2020 CFL Draft found a way to stand out, too. With teams, league officials and players all working and watching from home, the BC Lions played a big part in making it a memorable night. They traded up from the third spot to get Calgarys first overall pick and used it on linebacker Jordan Williams. The first-ever regional combine participant to go first overall, Williams became the first linebacker to kick off a draft since Winnipeg took Henoc Muamba“>Henoc Muamba in 2011. Hes also just the fifth linebacker to ever go first overall. Im absolutely surprised. I didnt know there were trades that happen. I thought the CFL was one through nine and thats what you get, Williams said about an hour after becoming a Lion. This is surreal. I cant even quantify how I feel right now. Watching him on film, he flies around. When he gets to the ball carrier he makes tackles, Lions GM Ed Hervey said. When you see him he runs through tackles, he makes plays, his presence is felt. Running a 4.5 (second) 40, being as athletic as he is…watching his tape we felt he was the No. 1 overall pick. He brings a level of intensity and athleticism and we felt he was too good to pass up. We werent sure hed be there at three, so we decided to take a shot. If we would have stayed at three we would have been fine but we felt like there was an opportunity to take a chance at it. MORE DRAFT COVERAGE » Draft Tracker: See where each pick landed» BC Bound: Lions trade up to take Williams first overall» Revisiting the Mock Draft » A team-by-team look at the 2020 Draft The Lions used their second-round pick (15th overall) to take quarterback Nathan Rourke. The six-foot-two, 209-pound Oakville, Ont. native and Ohio University product became the highest drafted quarterback since Jesse Palmer, who also went 15th overall, in 2001. Youd have to go back 49 years to Bob Kraemer being taken seventh overall by Winnipeg in 1971. I’m really excited we were able to get him, Lions head coach Rick Campbell said of Rourke. Regardless of nationality, he was a really good player at Ohio University. He’s so productive and a winner and he’s got really good feet, too. In three years with the Bobcats, Rourke led the team to bowl game wins each season. He finished his career there after a win at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in December with 7,457 passing yards and 2,639 rushing yards. That versatility impressed the Lions. I think that brings a different dynamic to the CFL, Campbell said. I won’t make any proclamations, other than to say it’s a great opportunity for him to come up here and have a guy like Mike Reilly to learn under. Most guys that come up here need time to not be thrown into the fire. Sticking with a theme of their off-season, the Toronto Argonauts went with a local player with the second overall pick, taking Mississauga, Ont.’s Dejon Brisset from the University of Virginia. The six-foot, 195-pound receiver had a quiet fifth year at Virginia, after a standout season with the Richmond Spiders in 2017. He pulled in 63 receptions for a team-leading 896 yards and seven touchdowns before he was injured three games into his senior season in 2018. Dropping back to the third overall pick, Calgary got the guy they wanted, in Southeastern Louisiana defensive end Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund. The six-foot-two, 250-pound Dartmouth, N.S. native felt he had some good conversations with the Stamps over the last month abut was still surprised to find out he’d be making a move out West to Calgary. “They didn’t really give me any indication,” Adeyemi-Berglund said of the Stamps’ interest. “Besides the fact that I had a good relationship with the coaches and the scouts, I thought I would be there. I’m happy with the way that things worked out.” A second-team all-Southland Conference selection in 2019, Adeyemi-Berglund had 61 tackles including 16 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and four pass breakups in 13 games at Southeastern Louisiana. The Stamps are getting a productive player and a consistently great student. The pre-med major was an all-academic team selection in 2018 and 2019 and made the conference commissioners fall academic honour roll in 2016 and 2017. One of the surprising trends from this year’s draft was the lack of offensive linemen taken early. There were four taken in the first round, but none in the second, making for the lowest total o-lineman taken through two rounds since 2010. Buffalo’s Tomas Jack-Kurdyla was the first o-lineman chosen on Thursday night, going fourth overall to the Edmonton Eskimos. He was followed up by Guelph’s Coulter Woodmansey at fifth overall. After the Ottawa REDBLACKS nabbed Laval defensive back Adam Auclair at sixth, the Saskatchewan Roughriders took Saskatchewan Huskies OL Mattland Riley seventh. Having gotten one o-lineman in the first round, Hamilton used its second North Dakota defensive end Mason Bennett with the eighth pick. The Argos closed out the first round by taking Regina Rams offensive-lineman Theren Churchill at ninth. NFL-BOUND CANADIANS GET SOME OPTIONS At last week’s NFL draft, six Canadian players were either selected or signed post-draft deals. That drove their names further down the CFL draft, but five out of the six still heard their names called. After signing with the L.A. Rams, Brown DL Michael Hoecht went to Ottawa with the first pick in the second round. After Montreal Carabins DB Marc-Antoine Dequoy signed with the Green Bay Packers, his former head coach, Danny Maciocia, used his first pick as the Montreal Alouettes’ GM to take him 14th overall. Calgary used its third-round pick (21st overall) on receiver Rysen John, who signed with the New York Giants and Montreal went one pick later and chose offensive lineman Carter O’Donnell with the 22nd pick, after the Red Deer product signed with the Indianapolis Colts. Saskatchewan took DL Neville Gallimore went 71st overall, just in case things don’t work out for the Ottawa native with the Dallas Cowboys, who took him 82nd overall. The highest chosen NFL player out of the Canadian lot, Pittsburgh Steelers second-round pick Chase Claypool, went unselected by a CFL team. ALS KEEP IT LOCAL When he was hired as the Als’ GM in January, Maciocia said that drafting and/or recruiting and keeping Quebec-based players would be a focus of his. In his first draft, he chose three Carabins and two Concordia Stingers out of his 10 picks. Here’s a breakdown: 2nd Round:DB Marc-Antoine Dequoy, Montreal (14th)2nd Round: DL Cameron Lawson, Queen’s (16th)3rd Round: OL Carter O’Donnell, Alberta (22nd)3rd Round: DL Marion Beniot, Montreal (25th)4th Round: LB Brian Harleimana, Montreal (33rd)6th Round: OL Andrew Becker, Regina (49th)6th Round: LB Jersey Henry, Concordia (51st)7th Round: SB Vincent Alessandrini, Concordia (60th)8th Round: DL Brock Gowanlock, Manitoba (66th)8th Round: RB Colton Klassen, Saskatchewan (69th)
Round 2 Recap: Rourke, Hoecht off the board - CFL.ca
A pair of big names are off the board as quarterback Nathan Rourke and defensive lineman Michael Hoecht were taken in the second round.
TORONTO — The BC Lions made another splash in the 2020 CFL Draft, this time it was in the second round. Following a trade to get the first overall pick in the draft, Lions GM Ed Hervey decided to take a quarterback with his first pick of round two (15th overall), scooping up quarterback Nathan Rourke. The last quarterback selected as high as Rourke (15th overall) was Jesse Palmer (also 15th overall) in 2001. The REDBLACKS and the Argonauts both went for defensive help to kick things off in round two, selecting defensive lineman Michael Hoecht and linebacker Jack Cassar, respectively. Marcel Desjardins and co. took Brown product Hoecht with the ninth overall pick. Hoecht was ranked ninth on CFL.ca’s Marshall Ferguson’s second and final mock draft. While Pinball Clemons and the Argos went with Carleton’s Cassar at 10. » Round 1 Recap: Calgary,BC complete trade; Williams goes first» Lions snag QB Rourke in second round» A team by team look at the 2020 CFL Draft» Draft Tracker: Each pick as they happen Michael Hoecht was selected by the Ottawa REDBLACKS with the first pick of the second round (Brown University) With their first pick of the second round, the Stampeders selected receiver Trivel Pinto out of UBC 12th overall. Pinto was the second receiver to be selected in the draft, the first being Dejon Brissett, who was taken by the Argos with the second overall pick. Next up, Edmonton went a little off the board, selecting defensive lineman Alain Pae from the University of Ottawa with their second round pick (13th overall). Montreal’s first selection of the draft (14th overall) was defensive back Marc-Antoine Dequoy out of Montreal. Alouettes general manager Danny Macocia went with a DB who had a stellar 40-yard dash time of 4.35 at a pro day earlier this year. The BC Lions then selected quarterback Nathan Rourke out of Ohio (15th overall). Maciocia and co. were back on the clock with the 16th pick and selected Queen’s defensive lineman Cameron Lawson. Hamilton then went with linebacker Bailey Feltmate from Adacia (17th overall). Bombers GM Kyle Walters and co. selected defensive back Noah Hallett out of McMaster 18th overall. Hallett joins his brother, Nick, who is currently a member of the Blue Bombers. The REDBLACKS selecting linebacker Dan Basambombo out of Laval with their last pick of the second round (19th overall), followed by the Argos selecting Samuel Acheampong from Wilfrid Laurier (20th overall).
Round 1 Recap: Calgary, BC complete trade; Williams goes first - CFL.ca
The 2020 CFL Draft kicked off with some excitement as a trade ensued for the first overall pick. CFL.ca breaks down the entire first round.
TORONTO — The 2020 CFL Draft started off with some excitement as a trade ensued before the first pick had even happened. Calgary, who held the first overall pick in the draft, decided to swap picks with the BC Lions. GM and president John Hufnagel traded the first overall and the 15th overall pick to the BC Lions, in exchange for their third overall pick and their 12th overall pick. With the first overall pick, the BC Lions selected linebacker Jordan Williams, who is the first regional combine participant to be taken first overall and the first linebacker to go No. 1 since Winnipeg took Henoc Muamba first in 2011. » Draft Tracker: Each pick as they happen» Mock Draft 2.0: Ferguson weighs in on who will go first overall» Scouting Bureau: Final April Rankings» How to watch the 2020 CFL Draft live Williams had an excellent showing a the Ontario Regional Combine in March, posting the best 40-yard dash (4.48 seconds) of the day and showed a 39-inch vertical while going for 20 reps on the bench press and recording a 10-foot, 8.5-inch broad jump. That helped his draft stock immensely, as CFL.ca’s Marshall Ferguson had Williams first overall in his second mock draft. Next up, Mississauga native Dejon Brissett was selected by his hometown team, the Toronto Argonauts, second overall. The addition of Brissett adds another Canadian to the Argos’ receivers group, joining Juwan Brescacin and Natey Adjei, who also hail from the Toronto area. Brissett is the seventh receiver the Argos have drafted in the first round, joining Brian Jones, J.F. Tremblay, Matt Duboc, Jock Climie, Paul Fedor, and Ted Smale. Calgary went with a defensive lineman with the third overall pick, selecting Southeastern Lousiana’s Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund. Edmonton took the first offensive lineman of the 2020 Draft, selecting Buffalo’s Tomas Jack-Kurdyla. Hamilton followed suit, picking O-lineman Coulter Woodmansey out of Guelph with their fifth overall selection. Woodmansey became the highest Guelph player chosen since Rob Maver went 5th overall in 2010. Before that was Mike O’Shea, who was fourth overall in 1993. Adam Auclair, who was selected sixth overall by Ottawa, became the 11th player from Laval to be drafted in the first round since 2005. Auclair’s selection is the highest for a defensive back since Chris Ackie went fourth overall in 2015. The Riders then took a local product, offensive lineman Mattland Riley out of the University of Saskatchewan, with the seventh overall pick. Hamilton went with a defensive end for their second pick of the first round, selecting North Dakota’s Mason Bennett eighth overall. The Argos rounded out the opening nine picks with the selection of offensive lineman Theren Churchill out of Regina. Churchill is the first Regina player selected in Round 1 since OL Brendon LaBatte, selected sixth overall by Winnipeg in 2008.
BC trades up to first overall, takes Jordan Williams - CFL.ca
The BC Lions traded up to first overall in the CFL Draft and used the pick to take Eastern Carolina LB Jordan Williams first overall.
TORONTO — The BC Lions didn’t want to wait for Jordan Williams. GM Ed Hervey convinced Calgary Stampeders president and GM John Hufnagel to make a pick swap on Monday night, with the Lions giving up their third and 12th overall picks to get BC’s first overall spot and the 15th overall pick. Williams emerged on the radar of scouts and GMs across the league after a dominant showing at the Ontario Regional Combine in March. Williams is the first regional combine participant to be taken first overall and the first linebacker to go No. 1 since Winnipeg took Henoc Muamba first in 2011. » Draft Tracker: Each pick as they happen» Mock Draft 2.0: Ferguson weighs in on who will go first overall» Scouting Bureau: Final April Rankings» How to watch the 2020 CFL Draft live At the regional combine, Williams posted the best 40-yard dash (4.48 seconds) of the day and showed a 39-inch vertical while going for 20 reps on the bench press and recording a 10-foot, 8.5-inch broad jump. More to come …