WINNIPEG - The Barrin Simpson saga is headed to the Canadian Football League’s highest court - the board of governors.
CFL vice president of communications Matt Maychak said today Simpson’s grievance – he is disputing the Winnipeg Blue Bombers right to put him on the nine-game injured list without his signature – will be discussed during next week’s governors’ meeting in Toronto.
In the interim, the 31-year-old veteran linebacker will remain on the nine-game list, although the Bombers apparently asked him to suit up for this Sunday’s game in Montreal. Simpson refused that request.
The Bombers have argued a player shouldn’t have to agree to sign the form to be placed on the nine-game injured list, a move that allows a team to give the player a longer period of time to heal from his injury without having his salary count against the salary management system. For example, a player with repeated concussions may refuse to sign the consent form and then endanger himself on the field.
The Simpson camp, along with several other CFL general managers, are arguing that this is not how the rule has been applied in the past. The governors will discuss the application of the rule next week before making a ruling going forward.
Simpson was on the practice field today, although not participating. Neither Simpson or his agent would comment on the matter today, but head coach Mike Kelly did say it was distracting his football team.
"We asked him, ‘Do you want to play?’ and he said no," said Kelly. "He’s not suspended, we haven’t kicked him off of anything but we would like him to be mentally prepared if he so chooses that he wants to come back and play that he’s in tune to what we’re trying to do defensively.
"It’s one of those things where we’ll just play it out and not get too crazy about it."