The Toronto-Saskatchewan Touchdown Atlantic rematch in Week 7 this Saturday is in jeopardy of being postponed. The Saskatchewan Roughriders canceled their second straight practice on Wednesday after six additional players tested positive for COVID-19.
Saskatchewan said in a press release it has ten players in various stages of COVID protocol.
The Roughriders are scheduled to host the Toronto Argonauts at Mosaic Stadium on Saturday.
The team said no decision had been made on whether the game or practices later this week will go forward.
The Roughriders announced Monday that “several team members” tested positive for the novel coronavirus after the team’s 30-24 loss to Toronto in the Touchdown Atlantic game last weekend in Halifax.
The team said at the time that it had planned to resume on-field activities by Wednesday.
The CFL has not had to postpone a game yet this season due to COVID-19.
An outbreak on the Edmonton Elks during the shortened 2021 season led to the postponement of a game against Toronto. The Argos makeup game with Edmonton took place in the last week of the season. With the Boatmen having clinched the East. The Argonauts sat all their starters and primary backups. The game ended up being of no consequence for either team.
Something tells me that an Argos-Riders rescheduled game will be of more significance.
Potential Toronto-Saskatchewan Make-Up Date
Perhaps this is putting the cart before the horse. But there is a potential workaround for postponing Saturday’s Riders-Argonauts game in the CFL schedule.
IF Saturday’s game is postponed, the Argos could play at Saskatchewan in Week 15. Week 15 is Toronto’s last bye. The Elks-Riders week 15 game could be pushed to week 16 to accommodate the scheduling change. Both Edmonton and Sask have byes in Week 16 to allow for this type of solution.
Another option would be to move Saturday’s game to Sunday or even Monday night. Allowing the Riders added time to prepare. The Riders have a week eight game on Friday, July 29th, at home versus BC. So they would be operating on a short week. But it’s a potential solution. The Argos have a sunday afternoon game at BMO in Week 8 against Ottawa.
An impromptu bye week couldn’t come at a better time for the Roughriders. It makes sense for the Riders, who are pushing the league office for a postponement. After all, Saskatchewan hasn’t had a week off since the season started. The team is very banged up. Quarterback Cody Fajardo has been playing with an injured knee. And was in danger of missing this weekend’s game.
Plus, the CFL announced today that Riders WR Duke Williams was suspended one game for his actions at Touchdown Atlantic. Argos DB Shaq Richardson was fined the maximum amount for his role in the fray with Williams. The CFL also announced today that Argonauts’ defensive linemen Eli Mencer faces a one-game suspension for derogatory language towards an official during the hysteria of Touchdown Atlantic.
Potential protocol infractions aside, the Roughriders would be at a clear competitive disadvantage this week if they were to play Toronto as scheduled on Saturday, especially if Saskatchewan goes without or has severely limited practice time.
One could argue that the Argos would be getting the short end of the stick, losing their last remaining bye week, but the likelihood of a forfeit is exceptionally slim. Unless there is a swift turnaround on Thursday and Friday. It’s looking increasingly likely that there won’t be a game between Sask and Double Blue in week 7.
Argos Proceeding To Business As Usual
The Argos have a lot of momentum in their favor, and the team is starting to peak. But they might have to press the pause button in Week 7 if the Riders rematch is postponed. The Boatmen, however, are continuing to set sail towards Saturday until further notice.
On Wednesday, the team returned to practice at Lamport Stadium.
The Toronto Argonauts filed their injury and practice report ahead of their game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday in Regina.
The Argos were without offensive lineman Dariusz Bladek (ankle), defensive lineman Fabion Foote (tricep), and linebacker Eli Mencer (head) on Wednesday. Although Bladek didn’t practice, sources close to him indicate that he is feeling better and that he is merely dealing with soreness. Bladek would love to return to his former stomping grounds on Saturday in Regina. But that appears to be in question at the moment. The Argos could hold him out for precautionary measures or there might not be a game to play.
|TORONTO ARGONAUTS||PRACTICE DAY|
|Player Name||Position||Injury||TUE||WED||THU||Game Status|
|Sam Acheampong||DL||Healthy Scratch||Full||Full|
|Theren Churchill||OL||Healthy Scratch||Full||Full|
|Cam Phillips||WR||Not Injury Related||–||DNP|
|Eric Sutton||DB||Not Injury Related||Full||Full|
The elephant in the room, as it pertains to Toronto, considering Saskatchewan’s current situation, is whether or not Argos players also contracted COVID because they just played the Riders. Fortunately, that’s not the case for the Boatmen, who already had a COVID-related issue before the season started when head coach Ryan Dinwiddie contracted the virus and was away from team practices before the opening game against Montreal.
While we sit here in limbo, considering the unknown status of Saturday’s game. In case you missed it, Mike Hogan from Argonauts.ca has a fantastic article on the site about Argonauts QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson’s father, Mark Bethel. The report details a fascinating look at MBT”s upbringing, his father’s free spirit, and his journey following his dreams. It’s well worth your time.