The Canadian Football League did not play at all last season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which means the CFL needs to be particularly cautious about players easing themselves back into football shape. The CFL players union says that did not happen at team workouts this week.
Incredibly, four different players on the Saskatchewan Roughriders suffered torn Achilles tendons during a six-minute stretch during one workout on Thursday, and two different players on other teams suffered torn Achilles tendons on the same day. The CFL players union is putting the blame squarely on league and team officials.
“Despite the CFL’s assurances that player health and safety is a high priority for the league and teams, we have confirmed six members experienced Achilles Tendon injuries yesterday (four of six occurring within six minutes on one team). This clearly contradicts those assurances,” the CFL Players Association told its members in a statement published by 3DownNation.com. “The reports we have received regarding the circumstances cause us great concern that the coaching staff were not respecting the protocols in place for the first week of player isolation. We will continue to seek answers and demand more rigorous oversight on proper player safety standards.
“We strongly recommend all members be personally proactive with their health and safety and understand that you can and should speak out when you feel your health and safety is being put at risk. Immediately contact your player reps and Association if you feel your health and safety is being compromised. The CFLPA will immediately act on your concerns. We continue to place the health and safety of our members at the forefront and we will ensure the CFL does the same.”
Although NFL players didn’t go through the long layoff that CFL players did, the situation up north should serve as a cautionary tale to the NFL as well about the importance of taking care of players’ bodies during summer workouts.