Montreal Alouettes QB Vernon Adams Jr. suspended for helmet-swinging
The CFL has suspended Montreal’s Vernon Adams Jr. for one game following a “dangerous and reckless act” Saturday that saw the Alouettes quarterback swing a helmet at Winnipeg Blue Bombers linebacker Adam Bighill.
The league announced the suspension Monday night following a telephone hearing with Adams and representatives of the Canadian Football League Players Association.
Bighill and Adams were engaged on an interception return during Montreal’s come-from-behind 38-37 win. As Adams was going down, he had a grip of Bighill’s face mask with both hands.
Bighill’s helmet came off as the Alouettes quarterback went to the turf. Then while lying on his back, Adams swung Bighill’s helmet with his left hand at the Bombers’ linebacker.
Bighill, who didn’t retaliate, tweeted afterward the helmet hit him in the face.
Adams was flagged for unnecessary roughness, but wasn’t ejected.
Montreal rallied from a 24-point deficit to secure the win, the largest comeback in club history. Adams played a big role, completing 27-of-43 passes for 488 yards and four TDs while rushing six times for 38 yards.
Adams will miss the Alouettes’ road game against the B.C. Lions on Saturday.
Playoff picture: The CFL playoff picture is slowly coming into focus.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Calgary Stampeders and Blue Bombers clinched post-season berths this weekend. But all three teams still have plenty to play for as both division titles — and home-field advantage for the division finals — remain up for grabs.
However, the Ticats (10-3) are assured of hosting either the East semifinal or final because they can’t finish any lower than second in the division standings. Only second-place Montreal (7-5) can catch Hamilton for top spot and would clinch a post-season berth with a win over B.C. this weekend and losses by both Ottawa (3-10) and Toronto (2-10).
Winnipeg and Calgary are tied for first in the West with 9-4 records. Saskatchewan (8-4) remains close behind with Edmonton (6-7) six points ahead of the fifth-place Lions (3-10).
The Riders can clinch a playoff berth Saturday with a road win or tie against Toronto.
Hamilton became the first team to punch its playoff ticket Friday night with a 30-27 road win over Edmonton. The Ticats secured the victory when Lirim Hajrullahu banked the game-winning 34-yard field goal in off the upright.
The weekend prior, Calgary edged Hamilton 19-18 at McMahon Stadium when Tre Roberson blocked Hajrullahu’s 42-yard attempt in the dying seconds.
Calgary and Winnipeg both earned playoff berths with the Stampeders’ 23-16 road win over Toronto and B.C.’s 40-7 victory in Ottawa.
Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 346 yards and a TD versus Toronto. It was the Stampeders’ 12th straight victory over the Argos and fourth in a row since Mitchell’s return to the starting lineup following a pectoral muscle injury.
Calgary has reached the CFL playoffs a club-record 15 straight seasons. It’s the fifth longest streak in league history.
Mitchell flagged: Mitchell led Calgary to a fourth straight win Friday night in Toronto and received an unnecessary roughness penalty along the way.
Mitchell was flagged after being tackled for a one-yard loss with 24 seconds remaining at the Toronto 51-yard line. Calgary receiver Andres Salgado and Argos defensive back Abdul Kanneh were also penalized.
Fortunately for the Stampeders, they were able to run out the clock with a third-down incompletion. But afterward, Mitchell was miffed at being penalized.
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“I couldn’t believe that,” he said. “I get called for taunting for a guy clipping me.
“All I did was turn around and look at him. That blows my mind.”
Stats leaders: There’s a new CFL receiving leader.
B.C.’s Bryan Burnham has assumed that mantle with 73 catches for 1,078 yards with five TDs. Hamilton’s Brandon Banks is second (78 receptions, 1,039 yards, seven TDs) with Calgary’s Reggie Begelton — last week’s overall leader — dropping to third (72 catches, 1,036 yards, seven TDs) after not playing in Toronto on Friday night.
Ticats receiver Bralon Addison is fourth overall (980 yards) but tied with Banks for most receptions (78).
Winnipeg’s Andrew Harris moved closer to a third-straight 1,000-yard rushing season. The Bombers’ star ran for 76 yards on 12 carries while adding five catches for 112 yards in Saturday’s loss to Montreal, Harris’s first action following a two-game suspension for a positive drug test.
Harris continues to lead the CFL in rushing with 984 yards on 153 carries (6.4-yard average) with three TDs. He’s also registered 51 catches for 449 yards and three TDs.
Trevor Harris remains the CFL passing leader (3,706 yards) despite not playing in Edmonton’s loss to Hamilton last weekend. But B.C.’s Mike Reilly (3,306) moved past Toronto’s McLeod-Bethel Thompson (3,090) into second overall although the Argos pivot still leads the league in TD passes (19).
Winnipeg’s Winston Rose has a league-best eight interceptions, one more than Calgary’s Roberson.
Calgary linebacker Cory Greenwood remains the tackles leader (79) while Saskatchewan’s Charleston Hughes continues to lead the sacks race (13). Greenwood didn’t play against Toronto on Friday due to injury while the Riders were on a bye week.
Harris return?: It’s unclear if Harris will be making a return to Ottawa this week.
The Eskimos are scheduled to visit the Redblacks on Saturday night. But the CFL passing leader didn’t play in Edmonton’s loss to Hamilton last weekend due to an upper-body injury.
Harris, 33, spent three seasons with the Redblacks before signing as a free agent with Edmonton last February. Harris had a career-best 5,116 yards passing in 2018 with Ottawa.
If Harris can’t play, the expectation is Logan Kilgore will make a second straight start. Kilgore was 22-of-36 passing for 223 yards with two TDs and three interceptions against Hamilton on Friday night.
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