Simoni gets a 2 game suspension

I knew he would get at least one game (and deserved that). The league had decided 2 games.


On play #4 of CFL game #10, our regular season opener in Hamilton on Thursday, June 13, Hamilton Tiger-Cat Simoni Lawrence made direct contact to the head of Saskatchewan Roughrider quarterback Zach Collaros after Collaros had “given himself up? by starting his feet first slide. This dangerous and reckless hit has no place in our game.

After a careful review of the play, which was called for unnecessary roughness on the field and assessed a 25-yard penalty, and a hearing with Lawrence, we are imposing a two-game suspension.

We want to put this supplemental discipline in its proper context by making the following important points.

  1. Player safety is the top priority for CFL. This point was stressed yet again as recently as June 12, the day before the game in question, in a league memo to all clubs which clearly stated: “Any player who performs an illegal act that creates a substantial and unnecessary risk of injury to an opposing player in a reckless and dangerous manner and outside of the acceptable standards of play will be subject to a suspension.?

  2. In our recent discussions with the Canadian Football Players Association (CFLPA) that led to a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), and in its public statements, the players association has said many times that player health and safety is also the players’ top priority.

  3. Several individual players have continued to echo that sentiment on social media, during and since those CBA talks, including this past weekend.

4.We all need to walk all of this talk in a meaningful way now, at the outset of our season, by sending and supporting a clear and unequivocal message on player safety.

5. The precise circumstance that occurred on this play was identified this Spring by our Rules Committee, which includes the leadership of the CFLPA, as one that requires urgent and strong action. It passed a rule change that increased the focus on such a play and the scope of what is considered a penalty. Our supplemental discipline needs to mirror this emphasis.

6. We want to stress that this discipline is the result of this player’s actions on this play and this play alone. In fact, he has never been previously fined or suspended for dangerous play since joining the league in 2012. In addition, he has expressed contrition for his actions and concern for his opponent and former teammate’s health and well-being.

However, dangerous and reckless play must be disciplined, not simply for the sake of punishment alone, but to deter such play in the future . All of us, league and players, need to take and support strong action to promote and protect player health and safety, and we need to work together.
– Randy Ambrosie, CFL, Commissioner

Player safety rules the day - as it should. And note they even went out of the way to mention that this is Simoni’s FIRST offence - not someone with a record of being a dirty player as some posted in the ‘25 yard penalty’ thread.

League made the right call IMO. 1 game wouldn’t have cut it.

Hopefully there is no appeal by the PA as others have mentioned. These kind of hits need to be gone and the 2 sides need to work together on this.

Unfortunately while he receives a 2 game suspension Zac may have played his last game.

I will be pleasantly surprised if the players association does not appeal it.

As for Collaros, yes, it might be his last game, but let’s be perfectly honest - if was only a matter of time. People who have suffered multiple concussions like Zach are more likely to suffer them in the future even from glancing blows like the one from lawrence. If that was Reilly, or one of the other Qbs in the league, they shrug it off and are back in the huddle for the next play.

Zach was foolish to come back and the Riders were foolish to bring him back. Even when he was healthy last year, he was a terrible QB and who knows how this additional concussion will impact his long term health. The riders bear responsibility for that. Sometimes players need to be protected from themselves as the inner drive of the athlete that fueled them to greatness cannot be so easily extinguished even when it is apparent to all of those around them that they are no longer capable of playing at a high level.

Agree re Zach and his vulnerability.

Matt Dunigan’s career ended on a completely legal tackle while QB with the TiCats.

IIRC, he was rolling to his right looking down field, completely vulnerable due to the OC’s (can’t remember the name) schemes which sent everyone down field except for the 5 down linemen. During the clean tackle, Dunigan’s head bounced off the turf dazzing him. He was helped off the field and I believe it may have been his last play in the League. He suffered for months (years?) from the aftermath of the hit as he had also, like Zach, suffered numerous concussions in the past.

Unfortunately Collaros may suffer the same fate, legal tackle or not.

That was SO NOT a glancing blow.

If Zach was cleared to play then it is Zach’s decision to play or not. He wants to play, who is anyone else to tell him not to? And if he’s available to play it would be dumb for no one to sign him because he’s better than half the QBs currently in the league. Terrible QB? The butt you;re talking out of. The Riders SO DO NOT bear responsibility for Zach’s health. That statement is so ludicrous it’s laughable.

Mike Reilly shrug it off? Reilly does have a concussion history. He’s had more than one. And that was a heavy hit to the head that could have taken ANYONE out, concussion history or not. Don’t kid yourself.

I feel for ZC. I also feel for Rider fans. As an Argos fan who’s QB went down in early in the season, you could just feel the air being let out of the team.

If athletes were able to separate their emotions from the game. Collaros should have retired at least two years ago.

Vernon Adams took at least as hard a hit in the same situation and he bounced up like a jack in the box.

You see this with fighters all the time. They get knocked out or take a vicious beating and they can no longer take a hit to the head.

Totally agree … but I hate that “would somebody else have been injured on the same play” comes into the discussion of the punishment … punish actions, not injuries … THAT will encourage behaviour change.

Yes but this can happen in sports. Hey next time cheap-short Simoni does something classless like this, hopefully even a longer suspension but the fact is it’s sports and a very contact sport like football and this stuff will happen, unfortunately. But now the bullseye is on Lawrence and we’ll see if the guy is smart enough to understand this. I have my doubts.

Why don’t you go to practice and ask him yourself? yeah didn’t think so. All the hero’s behind keyboards shooting their mouths off where nobody can see them.

It may be a bit easier to absorb if it wasn’t the second cheap shot hes received to put him out for a length of time in as many regular season starts

That was a glazing blow? LOL

Good one

Good to know you know better than the doctors that cleared him though.

I don’t think many are saying to punish based on injury…yeah, I get some are…simply stating the magnitude of that hit when people are trying to stuff it off because of his history. So really…most seem to be taking the stance you point out. It was a dangerous hit that would have been hazardous to basically anyone…thats people’s way of judging the incident.

I don’t support retaliation but this is probably spot on … when other teams play against him and see him going in on their QB they will certainly tackle him with what ever it takes in order to stop him … just like any questionable calls he is involved in will go against him for a period of time.

Look at the Canucks after all the diving … every penalty possible went against them for a few years.

His play didn’t just cost him but will have his team under the microscope this season … it happens in all sports

Outside of banning, 2 games is the max…unless that changed in the CBA…but I believe I heard it hadn’t. I don’t think he is at all encroaching on banning territory at this point. >10% of someone’s income is s solid penalty.

Singleton doesn’t hold back in his perspective

Collaros is an awful QB at this point as proven by his horrible 2018 season. 9 TDs and 13 INTs and paltry yardage. People would take chances with younger Qbs with greater upside (Jennings, Davis, Pipken, Franklin) than the likes of a washed up Zach who is likely to be worse than better in the coming years, assuming he can make it that long. Other starters like Reilly, Nichols, Masoli, Mitchell and Harris are clearly better than Zach - it is not even debatable at this point. Plus, Zach was mentally fried going into the season…full of self-doubt. Just read those quotes from him in the Naylor article a little while back. That is not a Qb anyone…well at least any team that knows how to scout…would want as their starter.

Sadly, we will be hearing non-stop from Rider fans about the all the Grey Cups and games they would have won in the coming seasons if Zach had not been concussed…also how Ambrosie, Orridge and anyone else who happens to be commissioner down the road is conspiring the Riders from becoming great again!

Your ignorance is amazing. And his confidence was fine.