Ottawa Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell didn’t want to comment on linebacker Kyries Hebert and his future with the club after a second suspension for a dirty hit this season.
“I’m going to just stay away from that right now. He’s a good football player and he’s been helping us, but obviously, when he’s not available that’s not a good thing. So I’m just going to leave it at that for right now,” Campbell said on TSN radio in Ottawa.
Hebert was handed a two-game punishment after hitting Alouettes receiver B.J. Cunningham in the “side of his head in a reckless manner,” according to the league during Ottawa’s Week 12 loss to Montreal.
“Just from a standpoint of legal and what the CFL league office and the players’ union I’m not going to lay in with my opinion on the hit, I’m going to stay out of that as far as that whole process goes,” Campbell said.
Hebert was suspended one game in June after levelling Calgary receiver DaVaris Daniels with a headshot.
“But I will say that we need to play the game within the rules and we need all our players available, we need all hands on deck, it’s hard to win games,” Campbell said.
“And so we obviously want our players to be available and we want to play the games within the rules because we want to make sure everybody is safe and we don’t want to take penalties because it hurts our football team.”
The 38-year-old was signed in the off-season by Ottawa.
“It’s getting to the point now where this is two strikes, he obviously can’t afford a third one and I’m talking from the overall league perspective. For Ky his intent is not to do what transpires on the field. I know he says that he’s trying to do the right thing and I believe him, but within the moment when you’ve been doing it a certain way for a long time and it was acceptable, it’s a difficult adjustment,” general manager Marcel Desjardins said on TSN radio.
“Sometimes I think because he’s on a new team and we brought him in to be a leader he’s trying to do too much. If he would just try to be the imposing figure that he can be on defence without going that extra step that isn’t necessary then that would be best for everybody. And he understands that, he’s disappointed, we’re disappointed, it’s frustrating for him, it’s frustrating for us as well. We were counting on him to be a contributor for us and at this point, it hasn’t quite materialized to the extent we would’ve liked.”