No, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers shouldn’t have allowed Montreal Alouettes quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. lead his team to the largest comeback in the team’s history.
Adams shouldn’t have even had the opportunity to do so, because the officiating crew mishandled an incident that should have resulted in the quarterback being ejected from the game.
With more than six minutes left in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s CFL game in Montreal, and Winnipeg leading by 13, Bombers safety Jeff Hecht intercepted a pass by Adams. Linebacker Adam Bighill went to block Adams to help pave the way for Hecht’s return. But Adams, who was seemingly frustrated with throwing the interception, wasn’t having it. He pulled Bighill to the ground by grabbing his facemask with two hands, ripped off the linebacker’s helmet and then proceeded to swing the helmet at Bighill’s face.
Rather than being ejected from the game, Evans received a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness. Adams went on to lead the Alouettes to an epic 38-37 victory.
The CFL admitted it made a mistake, as it was announced Monday night Adams would be suspended for Montreal’s game against the B.C. Lions on Saturday night. Adams told the Montreal media after Tuesday’s practice that he won’t be appealing the suspension.
"I don’t want to show that I’m trying to fight that thing. I’m just going to pay my dues and be ready for next week," Adams said. "I reached out to Bighill, told him I apologized, it wasn’t my intention to hurt him. He said that I hit him in the face but I told him if I hit you in the face that I didn’t mean to. He accepted my apology and he understands the competition."
Bighill, who voiced his frustrations over the incident on Twitter after Saturday’s game, said it’s now "water under the bridge." He does, however, wish the officials dealt with it differently at the time.
"I stood there and looked right at the ref who looked right at the incident and saw it. I immediately knew that’s an ejectable offence, and the fact it wasn’t taken care of the right way is frustrating," Bighill said after Tuesday’s practice at IG Field. "But at the end of the day, it is what it is and you can’t change things. I mean, he came back and played a great game. He earned that win."
Bighill said he respects the fact Adams contacted him to apologize.
"Obviously, I think he would take it back if he was in that moment again," Bighill said.
The Blue and Gold were busy making roster moves on Tuesday. For a 30-day window, which each team initiates sometime in late September, practice rosters expand to 12 players. When the 30 days are up, the practice-roster limit returns to seven players. The Bombers opened up their window by signing six players to the practice squad on Tuesday.
The club added quarterback Trevor Knight (New Hampshire); defensive ends Meffy Koloamatangi (University of Hawaii) and David Kenney (Illinois State); receiver Jawill Davis (Bethune-Cookman); running back Jordan Robinson (Sacramento State); and defensive back Trey Johnson (Villanova). The Bombers also announced the release of American running back Larry Rose and American defensive back Chris Humes.
Eighteen years old and still in high school, Taylor got his start with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of.
Updated on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 10:41 PM CDT: Adds photo